Study finds link between lupus and elevated risk of dementia

A new International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry study indicates that the risk of dementia may be elevated in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease affecting a range of systems including the peripheral and central nervous system.

In the study of 4886 SLE patients and 24,430 matched controls, the proportion of dementia was higher among SLE patients than controls (1.56% vs. 0.51%). After adjustments, SLE was linked with a 51% higher likelihood of developing dementia.

"This finding should give rise to search for SLE in patients with an ambiguous cause for dementia, especially those with an early onset cognitive decline," wrote the authors of the study.

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