Diseases Home > Neurosarcoidosis

Neurosarcoidosis is a form of sarcoidosis that affects the brain or central nervous system. Possible symptoms include seizures, muscle weakness, and numbness. Medications that suppress the immune system are often used to treat this disorder. Patients often respond well to such treatment, but there is also a risk of side effects.

What Is Neurosarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a progressive multisystem disease that commonly affects young adults. Neurosarcoidosis refers to the neurological manifestations of sarcoidosis.
 
Sarcoidosis involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in the body, including the brain. The lumps are called granulomas because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope.
 
These tiny granulomas can grow and clump together, making several larger groups of lumps. If many granulomas form in an organ, they can affect how the organ works. This can cause sarcoidosis symptoms.
 

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of neurosarcoidosis vary widely and may include:
 
  • Facial palsy
  • Muscle weakness and wasting
  • Numbness in various parts of the body
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability/agitation
  • Depression
  • Loss of taste
  • Voice, hearing, and vision impairments.
     

What Causes It?

The cause of neurosarcoidosis is unknown. Doctors think that neurosarcoidosis may result when the immune system overreacts to some kind of foreign substance. Scientists also think that the immune system acts this way only if you have inherited a certain mix of genes.
 
There is no known way to prevent or cure neurosarcoidosis.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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