(HealthDay News) – Neuropsychiatric manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are not associated with long-term disease activity, the accumulation of organ damage, or overall health-related quality of life, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Michelle Wang, of Toronto Western Hospital, and colleagues conducted a case-control study involving 72 patients with active SLE and neuropsychiatric manifestations, and 144 matched controls, to determine the impact of neuropsychiatric events at presentation on long-term disease activity, organ damage, and health-related quality of life. Disease activity, disease damage, and health-related quality of life were measured one, three, and five years after presentation.

The researchers found that, at presentation, SLE patients with neuropsychiatric manifestations exhibited significantly greater disease activity. At the one-year follow-up, these patients also had significantly greater cumulative organ damage. There were no significant differences between the groups at the three- or five-year follow-up. Both cases and controls had a decreasing trend of disease activity, increasing organ damage, and persistently low quality of life.

“Overall, this study provides evidence that early neuropsychiatric events are not major contributors to long-term disease activity, accumulation of damage, or health-related quality of life in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus,” the authors write.

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