Almost all cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome are sporadic, which means they occur in people with no history of the condition in their family. A few families with more than one affected family member have been described; however, the condition does not have a clear pattern of inheritance. Some studies show that normal variations in certain genes may be associated with an increased risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome; however, more research is necessary to identify and confirm associated genes.
Most people who develop Guillain-Barré syndrome have a bacterial or viral infection prior to developing the signs and symptoms of the condition. However, only a very small percentage of people who have an infection develop Guillain-Barré syndrome. Many of the genes that may increase the risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome are involved in the immune system, and their roles in fighting infection may contribute to the development of the condition. Therefore, it might be concluded that multiple genetic and environmental factors likely play a part in determining the risk of developing this condition. As a result, inheriting a genetic variation linked with Guillain-Barré syndrome does not mean that a person will develop the condition.
Last updated: 1/16/2016
We hope this information is helpful. We strongly recommend you discuss this information with your doctor. If you still have questions, please