Healthy Living

Study Suggests that Lupus Patients Are At Risk for Dementia

Study Suggests that Lupus Patients Are At Risk for Dementia

A study recently carried out by Israeli researchers has found a link between lupus and dementia. 

Dementia linked to lupus

There are many different comorbidities associated with lupus, but the latest research has shown a link to dementia. Right now, patients with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) have shown higher rates of developing dementia as opposed to others who do not have the disease. 

This study has been published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, and is titled “High proportions of dementia among SLE patients.”

As many already know, lupus has a wide spectrum of where it can affect a patient and how symptoms develop. Lupus commonly affects the central nervous system; when this happens, it is known as neuropsychiatric lupus. However, people with lupus who do not develop this condition may also exhibit some symptoms like cognitive decline, which is often called lupus brain fog. Other neurological symptoms are depression and anxiety, and there is also a connection between lupus and PTSD.

Researchers behind this study

The study can be considered a retrospective cross-sectional investigation, using what is known as the largest clinical database in Israel, the Clalit Health Care Database. This database is currently the most important one in Israel, collecting data from more than 4 million people in the country.

The study was carried out by comparing people with lupus to other control groups selected randomly, all from the Clalit Health Care database. The number of people with lupus included in the analysis was 4,886. There were also more than 24,430 controls that were included in this analysis.

The results revealed that the proportion of dementia was way higher in people suffering from lupus than it was in healthy people.

The results were quite surprising for researchers, since they revealed people suffering from lupus were 3 times more prone to develop dementia during their lifetime than the other control groups. In said test, 1.56% of people suffering from lupus were also affected by dementia on some level, while only 0.51% healthy people were diagnosed with dementia.

These results remained consistent across groups from all ages that were studied. So, regardless of specific modifiers, lupus patients always showed higher rates of dementia. 

Read on to learn more about this link between lupus and dementia, and what it means for lupus patients.