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J Neuroimmunol. 2010 Oct 8;227(1-2):195-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.07.014. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

The role of measurement of serum autoantibodies in prediction of pediatric neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is one of the most difficult manifestations of lupus to diagnose. Measurement of serum brain antibodies has contributed to early diagnosis and management of NPSLE before development of a debilitating disease. We aimed to assess the value of serum anti-ganglioside M1 antibodies in prediction of NPSLE, in comparison to other antibodies used in routine laboratory diagnosis of NPSLE. In addition, we are the first to study the relationship between these antibodies and cognitive function in lupus patients. Serum anti-ganglioside M1, anti-ribosomal P protein and anti-cardiolipin antibodies were measured in 30 lupus patients without clinical evidence of NPSLE, aged 8-16 years, and 30 healthy matched-subjects. Patients were followed-up clinically by monthly neuropsychiatric evaluation and assessment of cognitive function for 12 months. Twelve patients developed neuropsychiatric manifestations during follow-up. Of those patients, 83.3%, 50% and 16.7% were seropositive for anti-ganglioside M1, anti-ribosomal P and anti-cardiolipin antibodies, respectively at the time of initial evaluation before clinical presentation of NPSLE. There was a significant positive association between anti-ganglioside seropositivity and cognitive dysfunction (P<0.001). In addition, anti-ganglioside seropositivity had a significant risk for association with cognitive dysfunction (odds ratio: 36; 95% CI: 4.3-302.8).


Serum anti-ganglioside M1 antibodies had a higher predictive value for NPSLE than other antibodies used in routine laboratory diagnosis of this disease. Thus, they may be reliable parameters for early diagnosis and management of NPSLE before clinical manifestations ensue. In addition, anti-ganglioside M1 antibodies may play a role in cognitive dysfunction found in some lupus patients.

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