Neurosarcoidosis is a complication of
Sarcoidosis – nervous system
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Sarcoidosis is a long-term disorder that affects many parts of the body, mostly the lungs. In a small number of patients, the disease involves some part of the nervous system. This is called neurosarcoidosis.
Neurosarcoidosis may affect any part of the nervous system. Sudden, facial weakness (
The condition can also affect the parts of the brain involved in regulating many body functions such as temperature, sleep, and stress responses.
Involvement of the pituitary gland can cause:
- Changes in menstrual periods
Excessive tirednessor fatigue Excessive thirst High urine output
The symptoms vary. Any part of the nervous system can be affected. Involvement of the brain or cranial nerves can cause:
Confusion, disorientation Decreased hearing Dementia Delirium Dizziness, vertigo, or abnormal sensations of movement
- Double vision or other vision problems
- Facial palsy (weakness, drooping)
Loss of sense of smell Loss of sense of taste, abnormal tastes
- Psychiatric disturbances
- Speech impairment
Involvement of one or more
Abnormal sensationsin any body part Loss of movementof any body part Loss of sensationin any body part
- Weakness of any body part
Signs and tests
An exam may show problems with one or more nerves.
A history of sarcoidosis followed nerve-related symptoms highly suggests neurosarcoidosis. However, symptoms of the condition can mimic other medical disorders, including
Blood tests are not very helpful in diagnosing the condition. A
MRI of the brain may be helpful. A
There is no known cure for the sarcoidosis. Treatment is indicated if symptoms are severe or progressive. The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms.
Corticosteroids such as prednisone are prescribed to reduce inflammation. They are often prescribed until symptom get better or go away. You may need to take the medicines for months, even years.
Other medications may include hormone replacement and medicines that suppress the immune system.
If you have numbness, weakness, vision or hearing problems, or other problems due to damage of the nerves in the head, you may need physical therapy, braces, a cane, or walker.
Psychiatric disorders or dementia may require medication for depression, safety interventions, and assistance with care.
Some cases go away on their own in 4-6 months. Other cases continue off and on for the rest of the person’s life. Neurosarcoidosis can cause permanent disability and, in some cases, death.
Complications vary depending on which part of the nervous system is involved and how you respond to treatment. Slowly worsening or permanent loss of neurological function is possible. In rare cases, the brainstem may be involved. This is life threatening.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have sarcoidosis and any neurological symptoms occur.
Go to the emergency room or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if you have a sudden loss of sensation, movement, or body function.
Aggressive treatment of sarcoidosis turns off the body’s faulty immune response before your nerves become damaged. This may reduce the chance that neurological symptoms will occur.