Hi, everyone: Just joined the This is MS community. Let me introduce myself. My name is Dr. Birnbaum----I have trained in both Rheumatology/Internal Medicine as well as Neurology. I work at Johns Hopkins University---this year at Johns Hopkins University, under the aegis of the Transverse Myelitis Center, I have started a Clinic devoted towards care of patients with neurological manifestaions of rheumatic disease. Although I had anticipated that the bulk of my patients would have lupus, we are seeing a wide spectrum of patients with neurological complications of Sjogren's disease. Patients with neurologic complications of Sjogren's are often marginalized and dismissed by the medical profession, due to general unfamiliarity with the types of unique neurological challenges faced by patients with Sjogren's. Conditions which we manage include complaints of burning feet, problems with "autonomic nervous sys tem", vasculitis, muscle problems. We especially focus on patients who are often misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, who may have inflammation affecting the spinal cord and the nerves connecting the eye and the brain. The neurological symptoms of Sjogren’s often manifest Before the classical symptoms of Sjogren’s such as dry eyes, dry mouth, and difficulty swallowing.
I would like to also extend an invitation to anyone on this Website, if they have known or suspected neurological complications of Sjogren's, and live in the vicinity of Hopkins and/or Baltimore, that we would be happy to try and evaluate at this Clinic. This would include patients with similar "small-fiber neuropathies", other nerve problems such as numbness, tingling, patients with spinal cord disease, etc. For further information on this Clinic, you can google the Johns Hopkins Web Site, and click on my name Dr. Birnbaum. Because of my training in both Rheumatology and Neurology, we are equipped to manage symptoms which straddle both discplines. This simplifies the diagnostic process for patients---instead of having to bounce and receive sometimes discrepant opinions between neurologists and rheumatologists, we are able to fashion a single, unified, and comprehensive diagnostic and treatment plan.
Best, Dr. Birnbaum