NINDS Sjogren's Syndrome Information Page: NINDS


Article title: NINDS Sjogren's Syndrome Information Page: NINDS
Main condition: Sjogren's Syndrome
Conditions: Sjogren's Syndrome
What is Sjogren's Syndrome?
Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy the glands that produce tears and saliva. Sjogren's syndrome is also associated with rheumatic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. The hallmark symptoms of the disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes. In addition, Sjogren's syndrome may cause skin, nose, and vaginal dryness, and may affect other organs of the body including the kidneys, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and brain.

Is there any treatment?
There is no known cure for Sjogren's syndrome nor is there a specific treatment to restore gland secretion. Treatment is generally symptomatic and supportive. Moisture replacement therapies may ease the symptoms of dryness. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to treat musculoskeletal symptoms. For individuals with severe complications, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs may be prescribed.

What is the prognosis?
Sjogren's can damage vital organs of the body with symptoms that may plateau, worsen, or go into remission. Some people may experience only the mild symptoms of dry eyes and mouth, while others go through cycles of good health followed by severe disease. Many patients are able to treat problems symptomatically. Others are forced to cope with blurred vision, constant eye discomfort, recurrent mouth infections, swollen parotid glands, hoarseness, and difficulty in swallowing and eating. Debilitating fatigue and joint pain can seriously impair quality of life.

What research is being done?
The goals of research on disorders such as Sjogren's syndrome focus on increasing knowledge and under-standing of the disorder, improving diagnostic techniques, and finding ways to treat, prevent, and cure the disorder.

Selected references

Joynt, R (ed)
Clinical Neurology vol. 4, Chapter 59, J.B. Lippincott Co., Philadelphia, pp. 115-119 (1990)

Kruize, A, et al.
Diagnostic Criteria and Immunopathogenesis of Sjogren's Syndrome: Implications for Therapy Immunology Today, 16:12; 557-559 (December 1995)

Kruize, A, et al.
Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal Manifestations in Primary Sjogren's Syndrome Netherlands Journal of Medicine, 40; 135-139 (1992)

Rothschild, B.
Sjogren's Syndrome Comprehensive Therapy, 22:1; 39-43 (January 1996)


National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
P.O. Box 8923
(100 Route 37)
New Fairfield, CT 06812-8923
Tel: 203-746-6518 800-999-NORD (6673)
Fax: 203-746-6481

National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 31, Rm. 6A32
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
Tel: 301-496-5248 Professionals 800-869-2020

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 31, Rm. 4C05
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Tel: 301-496-8188 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 45, Rm. 4AS19
Bethesda, MD 20892-6400
Tel: 301-496-4261

Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation
366 North Broadway
Suite PH-W2
Jericho, NY 11753
Tel: 516-933-6365 800-475-6473
Fax: 516-933-6368

This fact sheet is in the public domain. You may copy it.Provided by:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892

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