Vaccines such as the flu shot can cause Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy ("CIDP"), a neurological condition that is the chronic form of Guillain-Barre Syndrome ("GBS"). The fibers of the nerves are protected by an insulating layer of proteins and fats called myelin. An attack on the myelin results in demyelination, also known as the loss of the myelin. When myelin is lost, the nerve fibers are unprotected. The unprotected nerve fibers may then become damaged.
Because these peripheral nerve fibers are responsible for carrying signals from the brain to the limbs, this damage can lead to decreased sensation, numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis in the limbs. Often the CIDP symptoms will start in the legs and progress up the body to the head and arms, different than SIRVA or tendonitis from a flu shot. Other CIDP symptoms include facial paralysis, respiratory difficulty, and vision complications.
Since CIDP is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s immune system essentially malfunctions – the immune system attacks necessary and normal parts of the body. In the case of CIDP, the cause of this autoimmune response is usually a foreign infection. The flu shot is one such foreign infection that can cause CIDP.
To diagnose CIDP, the treating doctor will usually prescribe an Electromyography test (“EMG”) to determine the functional state of the nerves. In addition, a spinal tap may be ordered to test spinal fluid for infection. In severe cases, the patient may suffer from paralysis within their diaphragm which would make respiratory assistance through intubation necessary.
The most common CIDP treatments are Plasmapheresis and Intravenous Immunoglobulin (“IVIG”) therapy. Plasmapheresis is a blood filtering process wherein antibodies are removed from the blood stream. IVIG is a blood treatment process that neutralizes antibodies and relieves inflammation. Once a level of functioning is achieved, the patient will likely be prescribed physical therapy.
If you or a loved one received a vaccination and were diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, contact My Vaccine Lawyer today. You may be entitled to compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program but must act quickly. There is a limited amount of time to file a claim, so please do not hesitate.
Page last reviewed and updated: November 20, 2020