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Eur Neurol. 2009;62(1):49-55. doi: 10.1159/000215879. Epub 2009 Apr 30.

Cognitive dysfunction in systemic lupus erythematosus: prevalence and correlates.

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Neurology, Services, Gregorio Marañón General University Teaching Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


Little is known about the mechanisms and relevance of cognitive dysfunction in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients who never displayed major neuropsychiatric manifestations (nSLE). Thirty-one nSLE female patients and 31 cognitively healthy control women were recruited. Sociodemographic, clinical, neuropsychological and SLE-related markers were collected including cerebral perfusion by single-photon emission computed tomography. Prevalences of cognitive complaints were 22.6% in nSLE versus 6.5% in the control group (p = 0.147); respective prevalences of cognitive dysfunction were 32.3 versus 6.5% (p = 0.01). Within the nSLE group, all cognitive domains appeared similarly affected, and correlations were found between cognitive dysfunction and less skilled occupation (r = -0.41, p = 0.02) and between cognitive complaints and depressive symptoms (r = 0.35, p = 0.05). Cognitive dysfunction is rather frequent in nSLE and seems to negatively impinge on social functioning.

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