Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Neuroborreliosis, or Both

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Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is an acute paralytic neuropathy. Limited reports of GBS caused by tick-borne pathogens exist. Lyme disease is a tick-borne infectious disease that is commonly caused by Borrelia burgdorferi. The nervous system may be involved and is called neuroborreliosis. In this case, we report a 30-year-old female who presented to the emergency department with one week of diffuse, increasing weakness in the upper/lower extremities and face after a recent gastrointestinal illness and travel to the Northeastern United States. Areflexia (absence of reflexes) was noted in bilateral lower extremities. Lumbar puncture results together with clinical presentation were consistent with a diagnosis of GBS. Lab results later revealed a possible Lyme infection in cerebrospinal fluid, which along with recent travel to endemic area gave high suspicion for Lyme disease. The patient was treated for both diseases with significant improvement. Taking a good history is an essential first step in diagnosis, as travel history was key in testing for Lyme.


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