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Wide Differences in Thinking Skills and Abilities Linked to Cognitive Dysfunction in Lupus

by | Oct 14, 2021

New research indicates that, beyond cognitive (thinking-related) test scores themselves, the degree of variability between test scores can help signal cognitive dysfunction (CD) in lupus. Cognitive issues are common in people with lupus, from brain fog and memory problems to difficulty concentrating and making decisions.

To test for CD, clinicians typically provide a broad set of different exams to assess different types of cognitive skills. These latest findings show that not only can the individual test scores help identify CD in those with lupus, but that simply having widely different scores from one test to the next is also strongly and significantly associated with CD. This insight may offer a new and practical way to interpret the results, thus improving the screening for CD in people with lupus.

This study was the result of a 2020 Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Fellowship project led by Jennifer He. Funded by the Lupus Foundation of America, this annual fellowship program was developed to cultivate an interest in lupus research among young scientists and establish the next generation of lupus researchers. Jennifer’s work aims to improve the early identification of CD in people with lupus, with the ultimate goal of preventing long-term damage and disability and improving quality of life for those with the disease.

Learn more about coping with the cognitive symptoms of lupus.

Read the Study

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