Systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: cognitive function and social adjustment

Ann Neurol. 2005 Oct;58(4):605-9. doi: 10.1002/ana.20626.


In contrast with other systemic rheumatic diseases in childhood, no systematic studies exist that focus on possible long-term risks for central nervous system involvement in systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (SJRA). We investigated 31 children and adolescents with SJRA, aged 6 to 24 years (mean, 12.5 years; standard deviation, 4.3 years), with mean disease duration of 6.2 years (standard deviation, 3.5 years; range, 0.6-14 years) for their cognitive and fine motor abilities. We also examined 31 matched healthy control subjects. In addition, parents assessed social activities and social and emotional problems in their children. Patients and control subjects performed within normal limits of intelligence quotient, memory and learning, attention, and fine motor scores. Less social activities were reported for patients. Patients and control subjects, however, had normal social and emotional problem scores. SJRA, although a burdensome chronic disease, is not associated with cognitive impairment or increased social and emotional problems. Cognitive performance and social adjustment of young patients with SJRA are not affected by disease activity and duration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / physiopathology*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / psychology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Wechsler Scales