Georges Charles Guillain

Georges Charles Guillain (1876-1961)

Georges Charles Guillain (1876 – 1961) was a French neurologist.

Known for his influential work and multiple neurology-related eponyms; particularly the acute inflammatory paralytic neuropathy described in 1916 with Barré and Strohl; now known as Guillain-Barré Syndrome.

Other areas of research included neuroanatomy, multiple sclerosis, reflexes and brainstem syndromes.


  • Born 3rd March 1876 in Rouen, France
  • Student of Pierre Marie
  • Published first research paper in 1898 on damage to the plexus brachialis
  • Received his PhD in 1902 for a thesis on syringomyelia
  • Married Juliette Chauffard (1885 – 1941) in 1909
  • Became head of the Neurology Centre of the sixth French Army in 1916 where he met Barré
  • Retired in 1947 and was awarded the Legion of Honour
  • Died on 29th June 1961 in Paris, France

Medical Eponyms

Guillain- Barré syndrome (1916)

An acute inflammatory paralytic neuropathy [*aka Landry palsy; Landry-Guillain–Barré–Strohl syndrome]

Guillain-Thaon syndrome (1913)

Spastic paraplegia as a result of meningomyelitis in tertiary syphilis. First described in 1905, and then formally presented as Thaon’s thesis in 1913

Guillain sign (1923)

A blow to the symphysis pubis results in contraction of the abdominal muscles and the adductors of the leg. [aka *Le réflexe médio-pubien]

Guillain-Betrand-Lereboullet syndrome (1934)

Unilateral arrhythmic myoclonus in the limbs, as a result of a lesion of the dentate nucleus. One of the many choreiform syndromes…

Garcin-Guillain syndrome (1927)

Unilateral dysfunction of the cranial nerves due to infiltration by a local malignancy such as lymphoepithelioma or sarcoma of the nasopharynx, without long tract signs or evidence of increased intracranial pressure. [aka Garcin syndrome; syndrome de Garcin; Guillain-Alajouanine-Garcin syndrome]

While briefly described by Guillain in 1926, the syndrome was more completely described by Garcin in his thesis the following year

Guillain-Mollaret triangle (1933)

Supposed brainstem pathway (triangle) connecting the olive, the contralateral dentate nucleus, and the homolateral red nucleus – the circuit being completed by the posterior longitudinal bundle running between the red nucleus and the olive. A lesion affecting the Guillan-Mollaret were determined to result in palatal myoclonus.

Major Publications


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Physician in training. German translator and lover of medical history.

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