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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

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Neurological Sequelae Of Lupus

Lupus (also called systemic lupus erythematosus) is a disorder of the immune system. Normally, the immune system protects the body against invading infections and cancers. In lupus, the immune system is over-active and produces increased amounts of abnormal antibodies that attack the body's tissues and organs. Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, and blood vessels. The signs and symptoms of lupus differ from person to person; the disease can range from mild to life threatening. Initial symptoms of lupus may begin with a fever, vascular headaches, epilepsy, or psychoses. A striking feature of lupus is a butterfly shaped rash over the cheeks. In addition to headache, lupus can cause other neurological disorders, such as mild cognitive dysfunction, organic brain syndrome, peripheral neuropathies, sensory neuropathy, psychological problems (including personality changes, paranoia, mania, and schizophrenia), seizures, transverse myelitis, and paralysis and stroke.

Treatment

There is no cure for lupus. Treatment is symptomatic. With a combination of medication, rest, exercise, proper nutrition, and stress management, most individuals with lupus can often achieve remission or reduce their symptom levels. Medications used in the treatment of lupus may include aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, antimalarials, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive drugs.

Prognosis

The prognosis for lupus varies widely depending on the organs involved and the intensity of the inflammatory reaction. The course of lupus is commonly chronic and relapsing, often with long periods of remission. Most individuals with lupus do not develop serious health problems and have a normal lifespan with periodic doctor visits and treatments with various drugs.

Research

Investigators researching lupus seek to increase scientific understanding of the disorder and to find ways to treat, prevent, and ultimately, cure it. Several components of the National Institutes of Health support research on lupus.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Read additional information from Medline Plus.

Organizations

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association

National organization that works to alleviate suffering and the socioeconomic impact of autoimmunity. Dedicated to the eradication of autoimmune diseases through fostering and facilitating collaboration in the areas of education, research, and patient services.

22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI 48021-2227
Tel: 586-776-3900 800-598-4668
Fax: 586-776-3903

Lupus Alliance of America

National non-profit organization formed by five indepdent lupus agencies that works to ensure the delivery of services to those affected by lupus through affiliate members and other agencies. Also funds research efforts.

3871 Harlem Road
Buffalo, NY 14215
Tel: 866-415-8787

Lupus Foundation of America

Nonprofit voluntary health organization working to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lupus, support individuals and families affected by the disease, increase awareness of lupus among health professionals and the public, and find the causes and cure of lupus.

2000 L Street, N.W.
Suite 710
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-349-1155 800-558-0121
Fax: 202-349-1156

Lupus Research Foundation

330 Seventh Avenue
Suite 1701
New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212-812-9881

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Dr., Rm. 4C02 MSC 2350
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Tel: 301-496-8190 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)

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