COGNITIVE DEFICITS IN SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS
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Several independent studies have now demonstrated the presence of significant cognitive impairment in SLE patients. Such impairment, whether it precedes or follows overt NP events, suggests compromise of the neural substrate, irrespective of overt clinical NP symptomatology. The association between cognitive impairment and brain cross-reactive autoantibodies suggests one mechanism for CNS involvement in SLE that warrants further study; the data relating specific cognitive deficits to the presence of specific antibodies raise the intriguing possibility of system- or structure-specific immune-mediated involvement in the CNS. Whatever the mechanism, cognitive impairment in SLE may have significant implications for daily functioning of some lupus patients and requires the selection of appropriate psychosocial and somatic treatment strategies.
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