First discovered in 1932 by James Collier as a rare variation form GBS or Guillain-Barre syndrome, it was then characterized by Miller Fisher from whom the name takes after in 1956 and it can be classified as one unique entity in the spectrum of GBS. If you are familiar with miller fisher syndrome then that information hopefully will make you learn new information about the syndrome. But for you who don’t know much about the syndrome? We will talk about all the basic things you need to know about it.
What is Miller fisher syndrome?
Being the rare and unique variant in GBS syndrome, it is a neurological condition that generates muscle weakness ranging from mild to severe scale. The cause of the syndrome is the reaction from the immune system against specific proteins in the nerves that are important for function, sensation, and movement.
The syndrome can start to appear when certain infections are caused by bacteria as well as viruses infecting a human. The bacteria and viruses can be found in food or the environment. The immune system will get confused and try to attack the bacteria and viruses while it will also damage the nerves. Patients with acute MFS will feel the symptoms for some weeks to a few months or shorter if appropriate treatment is conducted.
Talking about Miller Fisher syndrome pathophysiology, it is suggested that the anti-GQ1b antibody which is the specific feature of the syndrome is against the gangliosides. Gangliosides are essential carbohydrate determinants for the activity of autoimmune.
What are the things we need to know?
After learning what the syndrome is, now here are some important things to know about miller fisher syndrome.
The main symptoms that can be detected from the syndrome are the muscle and eye weakness that occur on both sides of the body. This may result in problems in balance and walking. Most commonly, it will start in one’s legs and will spread to arms and even face. For some people, this will make them lose their ability to move those body parts. It is also common for people to have trouble breathing since it affects the respiratory muscles.
Be careful if you have numbness or tingling sensations in your hands or feet because it can be parts of the symptoms. Some other symptoms are pains that are felt in the back, arms, or legs, as well as losing coordination in the arms and legs. For the eyes, you may have blurry vision or problems with your eye movement.
There are some tests conducted to find out whether someone has the Miller Fisher syndrome. A lumbar puncture is when your doctor removes some of the spinal fluid by putting a needle in your lower back for further testing. The next test is to test the antibody by testing the blood and find out the gangliosides. To know if the nerves are carrying the electrical signal correctly, the nerve conduction studies will be performed. EMG or electromyography will be carried out to know if the muscles respond correctly to nerve electrical signals. Miller Fisher syndrome radiology is in the form of neuroimaging MRI/CT to someone’s spine. This will show if the nerve cell is attacked by the body in the spinal cord.
The treatments and prevention
Treatments are best done by doctors in the hospital. For the condition, immunoglobulins and also plasma exchange can help the body to improve faster. Physical rehabilitation may be needed for the affected muscles.
To prevent the Miller Fisher syndrome, we need to reduce contact with agents that may carry bacteria and viruses. To wash hands with soap and water before and after contact with poultry or raw meat, cooking poultry in a thorough manner, don’t consume raw milk, disinfect the water supply, and practice safe s**ex are some of the best things to prevent the syndrome to infect your body.