AccScience Publishing / AN / Volume 2 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.36922/an.280
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A novel approach to mitigate muscle atrophy in Guillain-Barre syndrome

Kevin Cheung1* Sussan Askari2 Matti D. Allen2,3
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1 School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
3 School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Advanced Neurology 2023, 2(2), 280
Submitted: 30 November 2022 | Accepted: 27 March 2023 | Published: 10 April 2023
© 2023 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( )

Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is the most common cause of acute paralytic neuropathy worldwide. GBS manifests as rapidly progressive, symmetrical numbness, paresthesia, and weakness secondary to either peripheral nerve demyelination or axonal loss. Despite effective disease modifying therapies (e.g., intravenous immunoglobulin) and individualized rehabilitation programs, many individuals recovering from GBS experience substantial muscle atrophy and incomplete recovery of strength with resultant long-term functional impairment. This narrative review explores the therapeutic potential of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on enhancing recovery of people with GBS. This purported benefit may occur through several potential mechanisms, supported indirectly through studies using both experimental animal and clinical human models. These mechanisms include: (i) Anti-atrophic effects on skeletal muscle undergoing disuse and systemic inflammation; (ii) the use of omega-3s as a key building block comprising myelin; (iii) immune modulating effects optimizing conditions for remyelination; and (iv) preventing excitotoxic-like neuron death. The physiological mechanisms are explored in detail with examination of relevant clinical trials conducted to date. Through this exploration, there is sufficient support to justify future investigations directly examining the role omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may play as an adjunctive intervention that could have significant benefit at low cost and minimal risk of adverse events.

Guillain-Barre syndrome
Fatty acids
Nutritional support
Muscular atrophy

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Conflict of interest
All authors deny any conflicts or competing interests with any institutes, organizations or agencies that might influence the integrity of results or objective interpretation of this submission.
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Advanced Neurology, Electronic ISSN: 2810-9619 Published by AccScience Publishing