June 17, 2011

Former Gator Diagnosed With Rare Disorder

By - Kris Fletcher

According to reports, Danny Wuerffel, former Heisman Trophy winner and record-breaking quarterback of the Florida Gators, has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder.

Photo by: Getty Images
Wuerffel, who currently works for Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans, was visiting a fellow minister last Friday in Alabama when he fell ill and was hospitalized.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes Guillain-Barré syndrome as "a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, resulting in weakness, tingling and varying degrees of paralysis."

In severe cases, a patient may become totally paralyzed and require a respirator to breathe. Physicians may also opt to perform a spinal tap. The syndrome can be a devastating disorder, and can sometimes be life-threatening if not treated.

Though there is no known cure, treatment can dramatically lessen symptoms and accelerate recovery, which may span from a few weeks to a few years. About 30% of GBS patients still have residual weakness after three years, and around 3% may experience a relapse many years later.

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