What Is Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare immune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the nerves. Weakness and tingling in the extremities are usually some of the first symptoms, eventually spreading to the rest of the body and leading to complete paralysis. The exact cause of Guillain-Barre syndrome is unknown, although many patients report an infection in the weeks preceding the development of the condition. There is no known cure for Guillain-Barre syndrome, but several treatments can ease symptoms and reduce the duration of the illness. Although most people recover and are able to walk within 6 months, some still experience lingering effects from the disease, such as weakness, fatigue, and numbness.
The VA recognizes several infections that can potentially cause Guillain-Barre syndrome, including:
- Brucellosis – a bacterial infection spread from animals to people, usually leading to joint and muscle pain, fever, and fatigue. Treatment includes antibiotics.
- Campylobacter jejuni – a bacterial infection that one can acquire from eating raw or undercooked poultry or eating something that touched it. Many people are able to recover on their own, although some require antibiotic intervention.
- Malaria – a parasitic infection caused by a bite from an infected mosquito, usually leading to chills, fever, and sweating. Treatment includes antimalarial drugs.
For veterans who acquired any of these infections while in service, and then developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, the VA recognizes their condition and any lingering effects as service connected.
How The VA Rates Guillain-Barre Syndrome
Under 38 CFR § 4.124a, the VA rates Guillain-Barre syndrome under the same disability ratings schedule as poliomyelitis.
Diagnostic Code 8011: Poliomyelitis, anterior
- 100 – As active febrile disease
- 10 – Rate residuals, minimum
For individuals who have recovered from Guillain-Barre syndrome but still have residual symptoms, their condition(s) will be rated based on the level of severity under the proper diagnostic code for the specific residual symptom.
Get Help With Your VA Claim
If you are a veteran with active or recovering Guillain-Barre syndrome who is looking for assistance with your claim for VA disability compensation, our experienced veterans disability lawyers are ready to help. Please contact our office for a free claim evaluation. We are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for your condition.