Neurological manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome

Eur J Clin Invest. 2010 Apr;40(4):350-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.2010.02263.x. Epub 2010 Feb 19.


Background: Neurologic disorders are among the most common and important clinical manifestations associated with the antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). It is characterized by diverse neurological manifestations. These include stroke, transient ischaemic attack, Sneddon's syndrome, convulsions/epilepsy, dementia, cognitive deficits, headaches/migraine, chorea, multiple sclerosis-like, transverse myelitis, ocular symptoms and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Material and methods: We review the latest data about neurologic disorders and APS.

Results: In patients under 45 years of age, 20% of strokes are potentially associated with APS. Our study group recently reported a correlation between primary APS and peripheral neuropathy. Only one study investigated the occurrence of peripheral neuropathy in patients diagnosed with PAPS through electrophysiological study and showed alterations in 35% of patients. The mechanism of nervous system involvement in APS is considered to be primarily thrombotic. However, other mechanisms have been described, such as antiphospholipid antibodies that bind to the neural tissue, deregulating their functions and having an immediate pathogenic effect.

Conclusions: This review summarizes the latest data regarding the clinical aspects, radiological and therapeutic of major neurologic manifestations associated with antiphospholipid antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / complications*
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology*


  • Antibodies, Antiphospholipid