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Primary Sjögren's Syndrome with Central Nervous System Disease Mimicking Multiple Sclerosis

ELAINE L. ALEXANDER, M.D., Ph.D.; KENNETH MALINOW, M.D.; JANE E. LEJEWSKI, B.S., M.T.; MYLES S. JERDAN, M.D.; THOMAS T. PROVOST, M.D.; and GARRETT E. ALEXANDER, M.D., Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Elaine Alexander, M.D., Ph.D.; Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, The Good Samaritan Hospital, 5601 Loch Raven Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21239.


Baltimore, Maryland


© 1986 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(3):323-330. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-104-3-323
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Central nervous system involvement has occurred in approximately 20% of patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome evaluated at our institution. Characteristically, the neurologic dysfunction is multifocal, involving both the brain and spinal cord, and is recurrent over time. We present the features of 20 patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome and central nervous system involvement whose neurologic findings, evoked potential abnormalities, and cerebrospinal fluid profiles (elevated IgG indices, oligoclonal bands on agarose gel electrophoresis, and mild pleocytosis with reactive lymphoid cells) closely resembled those of multiple sclerosis. In fact, multiple sclerosis was considered the most likely diagnosis in each of these patients before diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, and each patient met criteria for definite multiple sclerosis. The clinical effects of corticosteroid treatment during episodes of acute neurologic dysfunction appeared to be beneficial in these patients.

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