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Today’s juicy little “lesson” is about my perception of cognitive impairment associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Clinical mumbo-jumbo…I highlighted the important parts:

Prevalence of Cognitive Impairment in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


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We administered a battery of neuropsychological tests to 62 female patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 12 female patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 35 normal control subjects. By applying objective decision rules to individual test protocols, an overall prevalence of cognitive impairment of 66% was obtained in the SLE patient sample. Independent clinical, radiological, and laboratory data were used to determine neuropsychiatric (NP) symptomatology and to group SLE patients as 1) “active” (N=21), 2) “inactive” (N=15), and 3) “never” (N=26) NP-SLE. More than 80% of the patients in groups 1 and 2 and 42% in group 3 showed significant cognitive impairment as compared with 17% of the RA patients and 14% of the normal control subjects. Neither steroid medication nor psychological distress could account for these findings. The unexpectedly high prevalence of cognitive impairment in SLE patients with either inactive or absent neuropsychiatric symptomatology provides evidence for subclinical nervous system involvement in SLE.

(C) Williams & Wilkins 1986. All Rights Reserved.

We Lupus suffers like to endearingly refer to it as “Lupus Fog”…
…added to the “Fibro Fog”…added to five kids, a house, a schedule, appointments and generally running a made-for-tv-movie kinda life while running on what already seems like 4 brain cells and…..well…..this really sucks A$$!!!
Know what sucks even more?? The researchers really can’t find a specific reason WHY.
For example. I forget things. A LOT. But it’s not like I’ve just forgotten where I’ve put my keys (which just ticks me off)….no, this is more like, “I’ve forgotten!!! I don’t know what!!” It’s frustrating and I find myself lashing out at the others around me because I just can’t seem to “keep a grip” on my reality.
It goes further….there are times, and I kid you not….where I’ve “left”. A total mind and physical body BLANK. I don’t see anything, hear anything, sense ANYthing….gone. Then back.
What in the bloody hell is THAT?!?!?! (o.O)
I think my fiance has started to perhaps put two and two together?? On my less than awesome days, and we go out of the house….it’s always the same….”Can you drive?”
I love driving.
There are times I should do the exact OPPOSITE of driving. *sigh*
Here’s another blurb taken from:

Current Opinion in Rheumatology

Cognitive Dysfunction in Neuropsychiatric Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Melanie J. Harrison, MD, MS, Lisa D. Ravdin, PhD

Posted: 12/11/2002; Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2002;14(5) © 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

“Since the first publication by Carbotte et al. in 1986,[1] it has become widely accepted that cognitive dysfunction is prevalent among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Despite the increased awareness among clinical rheumatologists and researchers, the etiology, nature, course, and treatment for SLE-associated cognitive dysfunction remain elusive.”
“….remain elusive.”
I translate this to mean: You’re shit out of luck. Take care now!
Oh, but wait!!! You COULD try improving your cognitive functioning with anti-malarial drugs or low doses of corticosteriods (according the the Lupus Foundation of America)
Anti-malarial drugs.
What. Ever.
Suffice it to say, I’m hindered. My hamster has “special needs”. My OS is running #$%#$ Vista.
How to fix it? *shrug* No one knows what CAUSES it!!
Anyways….I had some other stuff to post about, but I can’t seem to remember….


  1. bastdanica

    Wow… this is really interesting information. I had been curious how Lupus affects the brain, and am wondering if part of the dysfunction is part of the cause for the OCD, and anxiety.

    I also have to wonder if there are any "mental exercises" you can do to strengthen your memory/brain muscles.

    As for the keys, I was given a Key Box (hang it on the wall near the door) by the wonderful ever awesome Hobbes and I have no use for it. If you want to hang it in your front hall, it's all yours.

  2. Brynn

    Let's not forget the effects of fibromyalgia, which I didn't specifically attach scholarly articles, as I'm "mostly" trying to focus on the lupus…

    What is Fibrofog?
    Fibrofog is a term given to the variety of cognitive problems that many fibromyalgia sufferers face during their illness. Fibrofog encompasses memory loss, difficulties using language, and difficulties with learning. These symptoms tend to descend in a haze or "fog," around the sufferer. Fibrofogs can occur at any time and can vary in intensity when they do occur. Fibrofogs tend to be at their most severe during flare ups in pain.

    Taken from a fibromyalgia site. There are numerous scholarly articles written on the subject.

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