Cognitive impairment in systemic lupus erythematosus and neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus: a population-based neuropsychological study

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2003 Feb;25(1):145-51. doi: 10.1076/jcen.


We present a cross-sectional, population-based neuropsychological study of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients identified within Tampere University Hospital district, Finland with 440,000 inhabitants. Patients with definite SLE in the age range of 16-65 years (n = 46) and matched controls (n = 46) underwent neurological examination and comprehensive neuropsychological testing. On the basis of medical examination, the SLE patients were divided into neuropsychiatric (NP+; n = 15) and nonneuropsychiatric (NP-; n = 31) cases. The neuropsychological test results revealed more prevalent cognitive impairment in the NP+ patients, indicating that this subgroup mostly accounts for neuropsychological changes in SLE. Most characteristic changes in NP+ were observed in domains of memory, psychomotor speed, and complex attention. This suggests nonspecific CNS involvement, which is in line with neurological manifestations of the disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Community Health Planning*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuropsychological Tests