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Rheumatol Int. 2015 Feb;35(2):289-94. doi: 10.1007/s00296-014-3097-9. Epub 2014 Jul 24.

Frequent involvement of central nervous system in primary Sjögren syndrome.

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Neurology Department, Hospital Santo António, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Largo Prof. Abel Salazar, 4099-001, Porto, Portugal,


Primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the salivary and tear glands, and autoantibody secretion, in the absence of other systemic autoimmune disorder. Among autoimmune diseases, it is a relatively common disease, but the burden of central nervous system (CNS) involvement is controversial. This retrospective study evaluates the prevalence, clinical patterns and outcomes of CNS involvement in a cohort of patients with primary Sjögren syndrome. We evaluated 93 patients with pSS diagnosed according to American-European Consensus Group criteria. Fourteen patients (15.1 %) had CNS involvement. All were women with an average age of onset of the disease of 42.1 ± 14.7 years (average ± SD) and an average age of onset of neurological involvement of 47.29 ± 16 years. Three had parkinsonian syndrome, two epilepsy, two motor and sensory deficits, two headache with brain magnetic resonance abnormalities, two neuromyelitis optica, two chronic progressive myelitis and one aseptic meningitis. Neurological involvement preceded Sjögren syndrome diagnosis in nine of the patients (64 %), and neurological outcome was good in 11 patients (78.6 %). Central nervous involvement was not as rare as expected, and the frequency was similar to the frequency of peripheral nervous system involvement. In half of the patients, this was the first symptom of the disease, emphasizing the importance of considering this diagnosis, especially in young female with neurological symptoms without other evident cause.

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