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.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.