Aim. Typical changes in results of systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients' clinical and neuroimaging examinations and their role in predicting the nervous system involvement are reviewed in the paper:
Review. SSc is a chronic inflammatory connective tissue disorder of unknown origin, characterised by an overproduction and accumulation of collagen and other extracellular matrix proteins. In the course of the disease not only massive fibrosis of internal organs, but also features of vasculitis can be seen. Neurological manifestations in SSc either result directly from the disease or are secondary to the involvement of other organs. In some patients SSc is associated with other disorders of the connective tissue, in the course of which implication of the nervous system is a part of the typical pattern of the disease.
Conclusions. Contrary to the common opinion that both the central and peripheral nervous systems are spared in SSc patients, a majority of the affected individuals present subtle and often nonspecific neurological symptoms. More and more widely used neuroimaging techniques as well as electroencephalography and electromyography contribute to our gaining a new insight into the brain function and its disturbances in this group of patients.