Q: Is MS associated with Sjogren's disease?
There is no good evidence that MS is associated with Sjogren’s disease although I do have patients with both conditions. Sjogren’s disease and many other rheumatologic conditions are difficult to diagnose and frequently associated with many non-specific symptoms that can overlap conditions like MS; symptoms like fatigue, pins and needles sensations, forgetfulness and depressed mood. Rheumatologists and other doctors often draw a panel of autoantibody tests to look for evidence of these conditions. Unfortunately, these tests, while sensitive, are not very specific. This means that if you have something like Sjogren’s disease the test will almost always be positive (i.e. the test confirms the clinical diagnosis) but if the test is drawn on a large population of people with non-specific symptoms a positive result rarely means the person has Sjogren’s disease. To make matters worse, patients with MS more often have positive autoantibody results on these tests that cause diagnostic confusion because there is no clinical evidence of a rheumatologic condition. Many of us have argued for years that these tests should not be routinely obtained as part of the diagnostic work-up for MS but many doctors continue to obtain them. I hope this helps.
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