Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Beyond the joints

Neurological involvement in rheumatoid arthritis
  • Cesar Ramos-RemusEmail author
  • Sergio Duran-Barragan
  • Jose Dionisio Castillo-Ortiz
Review Article


Although arthritis is the most notable component, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory disorder where extra-articular manifestations are common; among them, central and peripheral nervous system involvement is frequent and associated with significant morbidity and, in some cases, reduced life span. It may produce a myriad of symptoms and signs ranging from subtle numbness in a hand, to quadriparesis and sudden death. Central and peripheral neurologic manifestations may arise from structural damage produced by RA in diarthroidal joints, by the systemic inflammatory process of the disease itself or by the drugs used to treat it. Neurologic syndromes may appear suddenly or developed slowly through months, and emerge early or after years of having RA. Neurologic manifestations may be easily overlooked or incorrectly assigned to peripheral arthritis unless the attending physician is aware of these complications. In this article, we review neurologic involvement in RA patients with emphasis on clinical approach for early detection.


Compression neuropathies Drug toxicity Dysautonomia Entrapment neuropathies Noncompressive neuropathies Rheumatoid arthritis 





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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cesar Ramos-Remus
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Sergio Duran-Barragan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jose Dionisio Castillo-Ortiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Unidad de Investigación en Enfermedades Crónico-DegenerativasGuadalajaraMexico
  2. 2.Hospital General Regional 45Instituto Mexicano del Seguro SocialGuadalajaraMexico
  3. 3.Centro Universitario del SurUniversidad de GuadalajaraCd. GuzmánMexico
  4. 4.ProvidenciaMexico

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