Abnormalities of inflammatory and hormonal measures are common in SLE patients. Although cognitive dysfunction has been documented in SLE patients, the biological mechanism of these deficits has not been clarified. The goal of this study was to explore the relationship between inflammatory and hormonal activity and measures of learning, fluency, and attention in systemic lupus erythematosus patients without neuropsychiatric symptoms (non-CNS-SLE), patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and healthy controls (HC). Fifteen non-CNS-SLE patients, 15 RA patients and 15 HC participants similar in age, education, and gender (female) were compared on tests of cognition, depression, and plasma levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and cortisol. Non-CNS-SLE patients demonstrated lower learning and poorer attention. Furthermore, non-CNS-SLE and RA patients had significantly lower levels of DHEA and DHEA-S than HC participants. Hierarchical regression analysis demonstrates that DHEA-S and IL-6 accounts for a unique portion of the variance in subject performance on measures of learning and attention after controlling for depression and corticosteroid treatment. This data highlights the value of hierarchical analyses with covariates, and provides evidence in humans of a relationship between peripheral cytokine levels and cognitive function.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2001|