For Lupus Patients, Cognitive Function Varies by Location

Published Online: Thursday, February 14, 2013
More patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were affected by mild cognitive dysfunction in New York, New York, than in Denver, Colorado, according to a study published in the January 2013 issue of Lupus.

Few studies have examined the impact of location on the mild cognitive dysfunction that is common in patients with SLE. Researchers analyzed lupus patients from Denver and New York using 2 different cognition tests to calculate cognitive impairment. There was not a significant difference in demographics between the participants from each location.

The rate of mild cognitive dysfunction was 24% for patients from Denver and 60% for patients from New York. New York patients had significantly longer disease duration as well. Participants from New York were also more impaired in semantic verbal fluency, visuomotor speed, and motor sequencing.

Because of the correlation between cognitive impairment and disease duration and severity, the researchers suggest that longer disease duration may be responsible for the differences in the rates of mild cognitive dysfunction. The researchers suggest that future research should study additional environmental and socioeconomic factors across sites to better understand the difference in mild cognitive dysfunction rates.

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