Systemic lupus erythematosus: learning disability in the male offspring of female patients and relationship to laterality

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1988;13(5):385-96. doi: 10.1016/0306-4530(88)90045-5.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystemic disease that predominates in women during the childbearing years. One system frequently affected is the central nervous system. Seizures and psychoses are criteria useful in the diagnosis of SLE. The effects of this disease on disorders of learning and handedness in both patients and first degree relatives are the subject of the present report. Dyslexia and other disorders of learning were present in 45% (24/55) of male offspring of female SLE patients. Ten percent of male siblings of female SLE patients were learning-impaired. Dyslexia and other disorders of learning are also common in women with SLE (dyslexia 12.5%) and men with SLE where the proband is one of two or more cases of SLE in the same family (dyslexia 27.6%). Tests for handedness in the lupus population indicated that there were slightly more patients (mostly women) (p = 0.08) who were lefthanded by the Oldfield laterality test compared to normal volunteers. Handedness did not correlate with the degree of dyslexia in either the patients or their first degree relatives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Dyslexia / genetics
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / genetics*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors