Miller Fisher Syndrome

Miller Fisher syndrome is a rare, acquired nerve disease that is considered to be a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Like Guillain-Barré syndrome, symptoms may be preceded by a viral illness.

Miller Fisher syndrome is characterized by:

  • Abnormal muscle coordination
  • Paralysis of the eye muscles
  • Absence of the tendon reflexes

Additional symptoms include generalized muscle weakness and respiratory failure. The majority of individuals with Miller Fisher syndrome have a unique antibody that characterizes the disorder.

The prognosis for most individuals with Miller Fisher syndrome is good. In most cases, recovery begins within 2 to 4 weeks of the onset of symptoms, and may be almost complete within 6 months. Some individuals are left with residual deficits. Relapses may occur rarely (in less than 3 percent of cases).

Treatment for Miller Fisher syndrome is identical to treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome:

  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg)
  • Plasmapheresis – a procedure in which antibodies are removed from the blood
  • Supportive care