Miller Fisher syndrome is a rare, acquired nerve disease that is considered to be a variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome. It is characterized by abnormal muscle coordination, paralysis of the eye muscles, and absence of the tendon reflexes. Like Guillain-Barré syndrome, symptoms may be preceded by a viral illness. 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) or plasmapheresis (a procedure in which antibodies are removed from the blood) and supportive care.