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Friday, March 7, 2014
How Would I Know If I Had Neurosarcoidosis?
I have pulmonary sarcoidosis. How would a person know if it was affecting their nervous system, without tests? Are there any signs or symptoms that would possibly be related to this before I ask a doctor?
There is no specific neurological manifestation of sarcoidosis. In fact, the presentation of neurosarcoidosis can range from new seizures, to new onset of weakness or loss of sensation, such as can occur after a stroke, or even psychiatric manifestations. If you have "focal" symptoms, like weakness or loss of sensation or seizures, an imaging procedure of the brain would be indicated as the first diagnostic step. If you have "non-focal" symptoms, like changes in your behavior, loss of memory or unexplained headaches, it is possible that these symptoms are caused by sarcoidosis, but it can be more difficult to make the diagnosis.
If you have any symptoms of concern, I would recommend that you discuss them with your doctor. It is not prudent to "wait and see" if there is a possibility of central nervous system involvement.
Elliott D Crouser, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University