A 25-year-old Italian woman who had been suffering from back pain has become paralyzed due to a rare disorder, Newsweek reported.
According to the report, Aurora Mattei’s facial muscles and body became paralyzed over the course of only three months, leaving her needing intubation to breathe. Doctors at the Belcolle Hospital in Viterbo eventually diagnosed her with an extremely rare condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Fortunately, Ms Mattei is now on the road to recovery, and has begun learning to walk again, local La Repubblica reported.
As per the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rare neurological disorder in which your immune system mistakenly attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. GBS can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving you unable to breathe independently.
Although most people recover completely from Guillain-Barre syndrome, some severe cases can be fatal. The disorder is estimated to affect about one person in 100,000 each year. About 7.5 percent of those affected each year die, often due to complications including infections, blood clots, and cardiac arrest.
Symptoms of the condition begin with tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness, initially in the hands and feet, before spreading to the arms and legs. There’s no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness.
The disorder can affect anyone and it can strike at any age. The exact cause of GBS isn’t known.