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Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus: a diagnostic challenge

Sommerlad, A; Duncan, J; Lunn, MPT; Foong, J; (2015) Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus: a diagnostic challenge. BMJ Case Reports , 2015 10.1136/bcr-2014-208215. Green open access

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Abstract

A 58-year-old woman presented to neuropsychiatric services with increased frequency of confusional episodes and intermittent psychotic symptoms. She had a 19-year history of atypical epileptic seizures and cognitive decline. Detailed review of history and clinical investigations revealed that she had accumulated sufficient features to meet diagnostic criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). She had previously had lymphopenia and a malar rash; she had positive antinuclear, anti-Ro (anti-Sjögren's-syndrome-related antigen A) and anti-SM (anti-Smith Antibody) antibodies, and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate. The seizures, cognitive impairment and psychosis were attributable to neuropsychiatric SLE. Treatment with immune-modulating therapy, cyclophosphamide, resulted in significant improvement in subjective and objective clinical presentation. Neuropsychiatric SLE should be considered a potential differential diagnosis for patients presenting with seizures, psychotic symptoms or cognitive decline. A detailed clinical evaluation with review of the medical history and appropriate laboratory analyses allows this diagnosis to be made, and appropriate treatment to be initiated.

Type: Article
Title: Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus: a diagnostic challenge
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bcr-2014-208215
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bcr-2014-208215
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466871
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