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Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction in Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kristen Davies, Professor Fai NgORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© Copyright © 2021 Davies and Ng.Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is an autoimmune disease which primarily affects the exocrine glands, but can also affect other organs, including the nervous system. Many studies have reported evidence of autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction in pSS which may contribute to a wide range of symptoms and functional burden. Symptoms of ANS dysfunction are common and widespread among patients with pSS and are associated with other features of the disease, particularly fatigue. Accumulating data on the inter-relationship between the ANS and the immune system via the vagus nerve have been reported. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has also been associated with improvement in fatigue in patients with pSS. Taken together, these data suggest that the ANS may be a potential treatment target for pSS, in particularly those with fatigue being a predominant symptom. Future research to dissect the link between the ANS, immune dysregulation and clinical manifestations in pSS and to evaluate the potential of VNS as a therapy for pSS is warranted.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davies K, Ng W-F

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Frontiers in Immunology

Year: 2021

Volume: 12

Print publication date: 01/07/2021

Online publication date: 26/07/2021

Acceptance date: 13/07/2021

ISSN (electronic): 1664-3224

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.


DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.702505