Michael Luggen, MD, University of Cincinnati

"Cognitive Dysfunction in SLE: Diagnosis, Prognosis and Significance"

2009 Neuropsychiatric Lupus Research Grant

Patients with lupus may have difficulties thinking, remembering, and making decisions. This cognitive dysfunction (CD) has been reported to occur in from 12%-87% of patients with lupus. The reasons for the divergent estimates are not clear but may have to do with differences in types of lupus patients studied, tests used to detect CD, and the exact diagnostic criteria employed. The proposed research will establish accurate and reproducible criteria upon which to make a diagnosis, determine the frequency of CD in a community based population of patients with lupus, and assess the consequences of CD on health related quality of life. The above objectives will be accomplished using a computer based assessment tool which is inexpensive, brief, and repeatable. By identifying accurately patients with clinically significant CD at an earlier stage, more effective treatment may be possible.