Lupus Cerebritis

Lupus cerebritis is a problematic manifestation of lupus and is quite difficult to diagnose. With advancements in laboratory analysis along with imaging technology it is now much easier to make specific diagnosis of this condition. Lupus cerebritis basically refers to brain or nervous system involvement in a condition like systemic lupus erythematosus.

The symptoms of lupus cerebritis may be mild or severe and these may include depression, anxiety, headaches, stroke and seizures among others. Serious symptoms of this condition can be seen in around 15% of cases and these are observed only among those who have severe lupus. In some cases inflammation of brain can be seen if the brain or the nervous system is attacked as a result of problems with the immune system. The serious problems caused because of inflammation include headaches, seizures, vision problems, dizziness, behavior changes and even stroke.

In recent times a number of cases with some mild form of lupus cerebritis have been identified. These problems associated with this condition include mild kind of depression, headache and even memory loss in some cases. Basically there are two kinds of lupus cerebritis affecting the brain. The first kind is seen when lupus causes physical changes or alterations in the brain activity. The second form is a clotting disorder and once the type of condition is identified the relevant treatment can be given.

Where individuals display dramatic symptoms associated with lupus cerebritis such as behavior changes or seizures the treatment will include steroids in high doses along with immunosuppressive drugs. Brain scans are used to determine if the condition is related to a clotting problem that is called Hughes syndrome. In these cases some areas in the blood does not get sufficient blood supply because of blood clot and in this case the treatment involves thinning the blood with anticoagulants or aspirin.

In severe flare ups of lupus some other psychiatric disorders may be experienced including mood swings or other personality disorders. In some cases however psychotic behaviour may also be observed. It is important to understand that in United States more than 50 % patients with systemic lupus erythematosus may suffer from neurological involvement.