Landry ascending paralysis: A particularly virulent form of Guillain-Barre syndrome. The disorder often begins with a flu-like illness that brings on general physical weakness, but is then characterized by rapidly progressing paralysis that starts in the legs and arms, and may move on (ascend) to affect the breathing muscles and face. As with less severe forms of Guillain-Barre, the exact cause is not yet known but presumed to be viral and/or autoimmune. Hospitalization is usually required, and treatment is by plasmapheresis or intravenous gamma globulin (IVIG).
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