Maiuolo, J.; Muscoli, C.; Gliozzi, M.; Musolino, V.; Carresi, C.; Paone, S.; Ilari, S.; Mollace, R.; Palma, E.; Mollace, V. Endothelial Dysfunction and Extra-Articular Neurological Manifestations in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Biomolecules2021, 11, 81.
Maiuolo, J.; Muscoli, C.; Gliozzi, M.; Musolino, V.; Carresi, C.; Paone, S.; Ilari, S.; Mollace, R.; Palma, E.; Mollace, V. Endothelial Dysfunction and Extra-Articular Neurological Manifestations in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Biomolecules 2021, 11, 81.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the global population, with a female-male ratio of 3:1. To date, genetic predisposition, the involvement of a deficient immune system and lifestyle are known to be the major responsible for the onset of the disease. RA preferably affects the joints, with consequent joint swelling and deformities followed by ankylosis. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can also develop extra-articular manifestations, which mainly affect the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, the skin, the eye, the respiratory system, the kidney and the gastrointestinal system. It has been shown that about 20% of RA patients can develop neuropathies, multiple mononeuritis, distal sensory neuropathies and sense motor neuropathies. Neurological involvement occurs as a consequence of vasculitis of the nerve vessels leading to vascular ischaemia, axonal degeneration and neuronal demyelination. In RA, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is very high and depends, most probably, on vascular damage resulting from endothelial dysfunction. Hence, it is reasonable to assume that the integrity of the endothelium is also involved in the neurological disorders resulting from RA. This review aims to highlight the main characteristics of the extra-articular manifestations at the nervous level resulting from rheumatoid arthritis. To this end, the literature main results on these pathological manifestations have been collected with particular focus on the involvement of endothelial dysfunction. In fact, the endothelium could be considered a valuable target for minimizing the incidence of extra-articular neurological manifestations in RA.
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