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Guillain-Barré syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because several other conditions can cause similar symptoms.

A GP will refer you to a hospital specialist if they think you might have it or they are not sure what's causing your symptoms.


A GP or specialist may:

Nerve tests

In hospital, 2 tests may be carried out to see how well your nerves are working.

These are:

In people with Guillain-Barré syndrome, these tests will usually show that signals are not travelling along the nerves properly.

Lumbar puncture

A lumbar puncture is a procedure to remove some fluid from around the spinal cord (the nerves running up the spine) using a needle inserted into the lower part of the spine.

The sample of fluid will be checked for signs of problems that can cause similar symptoms to Guillain-Barré syndrome, such as an infection.