HomeNewsCelebritiesWhat is Guillain-Barré syndrome? Pornstar Jenna Jameson’s diagnosis

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome? Pornstar Jenna Jameson’s diagnosis [Full Story]

Image credits: Jenna Jameson/Instagram

This week, Jenna Jameson’s boyfriend Lior Bitton revealed the former porn star was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Guillain-Barré syndrome:

Bitton explained on Instagram that Jameson had been vomiting and went to the hospital for testing only to be sent home, where she became weaker.

“And then, within two days, it got really not so good, her legs started to not hold her, she wasn’t able to walk,” he added.

The frightening medical update left many wondering what exactly is Guillain-Barré syndrome, how do you catch it and what is the prognosis?

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome?

“It’s basically a neurological illness that involves the peripheral nerves in the body,” Dr. David Langer, Lenox Hill’s chair of neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, told The Post.

Those nerves, he explained, are covered in a sheath of myelin.

“Myelin is like an insulator for an electric cable. If you don’t have insulation on your wires, the electricity doesn’t pass through, so the insulation basically allows nerves to conduct very quickly,” said Langer.

“The myelin gets degraded and your nerves can’t transmit as easily, so you start slowing down in whatever muscle areas that are fed by these nerves.”

He added that Guillain-Barré is an autoimmune response where the antibodies attack the body. Antibodies are the immune system’s weapon against foreign invaders, such as viruses, according to Live Science.

A “person’s own immune system damages the nerves” and this causes “muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

What causes the illness?

Guillain-Barré, which is named after French scientists Georges Guillain and Jean Barré, can be triggered by several things, including a viral or bacterial infection.

“About two-thirds of people” that had Guillain-Barré “had diarrhea or a respiratory illness several weeks before developing symptoms,” according to the CDC.

Langer said there are a number of recent medical articles saying COVID-19 has caused some instances of the syndrome, although he hasn’t seen an uptick in his own hospital.

“It’s still a very rare thing, but it could be associated with a COVID infection,” said Langer.

It affects about 1 in 100,000 people and there are an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 cases a year in the United States, according to the CDC.
What are symptoms of Guillain-Barré syndrome?

Symptoms can be mild, like pins and needles. In the most severe cases, people can lose the ability to walk or breathe on their own.

Langer noted the disease is usually progressive, starting with numbness and can advance over days or weeks.

“Over 50% of patients with Guillain-Barré can have some difficulty walking. It’s not an uncommon complication,” he said.

Patients with severe cases are given infusions of immunoglobulin to kick-start the recovery, but it can heal itself in about six months and some people need rehab.

In an Instagram Story, Bitton announced that Jameson was being given a high dose of immunoglobulin therapy, which is “an infusion of antibodies,” according to the CDC.

“Most people get better. The nerves begin to recover within a few months, but it can take a long time. There are a lot of people left with mild symptoms even after,” said Langer.

“It gets really bad before it gets better again. The inflammation goes down and the nerves coat themselves again.”

Jenna Jameson has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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