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Cognitive Dysfunction and White Matter Abnormalities in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2011

Elizabeth Kozora*
National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Denver, Colorado University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Denver, Colorado
Christopher M. Filley
University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Denver, Colorado University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Denver, Colorado Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Denver, Colorado
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Elizabeth Kozora, Ph.D., National Jewish Health, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, CO 80206. E-mail:


Brain abnormalities have been documented by neuropsychological assessment as well as a variety of neuroimaging techniques in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Conventional neuroimaging in patients with neuropsychiatric disease (NPSLE) typically discloses periventricular white matter (WM) hyperintensities, infarcts, hemorrhages, and cerebral atrophy. In SLE patients with none of these findings, sophisticated neuroimaging techniques have recently supported associations between microstructural WM abnormalities and abnormal attention, executive function, and processing speed. This mild cognitive dysfunction in SLE (MCD-SLE), which may result from early myelinopathy, precedes the more severe cognitive dysfunction of NPSLE, related to more obvious WM and neuronal damage. (JINS, 2011, 17, 385–392)

Short Reviews
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2011

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