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Importance of intensive and prolonged rehabilitative treatment on the Guillain-Barrè syndrome long-term outcome: a retrospective study



Guillain-Barrè syndrome (GBS) is often associated with a residual disability. Nonetheless, poor and incomplete studies have been published addressed towards the assessment of importance of physiotherapy (FKT) in the recovery. The aim of the study was to explore the effects of prolonged FKT associated with medical therapy and to evaluate the long-term outcome.


A retrospective analysis was carried out on patients with GBS who needed to continue rehabilitation after hospitalization and admitted to the Neurological Department of La Spezia from 2003 to 2017. MRC and GBS-Disability scale (GBS-DS) were performed at the time of greatest clinical disability, after medical therapy, and at the end of the overall FKT. The final outcome evaluation was based on the ability to walk with or without support. ANOVA with Bonferroni post-test were used to compare MRC and GBS-DS.


Ninety-six patients were admitted, but only 51 satisfied inclusion criteria. Forty patients performed intensive treatment for an average of 60.95 days, and 31 of them, once discharged, are required to continue FKT as outpatients for a mean period of 96.45 days. The mean value of MRC and GBS-DS post-FKT improved significantly compared with the post-medical therapy. Concerning walking, among the 40 patients who did not walk before therapy, 8 need support after the medical therapy and 4 (11.76%) cannot walk independently at the last follow-up.


In conclusion, FKT associated to medical therapy can improve the outcome of the disease, if performed for periods exceeding 6 months.

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Correspondence to Valeria Prada.

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Prada, V., Massa, F., Salerno, A. et al. Importance of intensive and prolonged rehabilitative treatment on the Guillain-Barrè syndrome long-term outcome: a retrospective study. Neurol Sci 41, 321–327 (2020).

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  • Guillain-Barrè syndrome
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Neurological rehabilitation