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What symptoms might I have if lupus affects my brain and central nervous system?

ANSWER

Lupus can affect your brain and the nerves in your spinal cord in several ways. If it does, you may have:

  • Clouded thinking, confusion, or memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Rarely, strokes

From: How Lupus Affects Your Body WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Family Doctor: "Lupus."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "Thinking, Memory and Lupus: What We Know and What We Can Do."

Johns Hopkins Lupus Center: "Nervous System."

Lupus Foundation of America: "What Is Lupus?" "How does lupus affect the skin?" "What is the best way to cope with hair loss?" "15 Questions: Kidney Issues and Lupus," "New Review Summarizes the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke Among People with Lupus," "How does lupus affect the lungs and pulmonary system?" "How does smoking affect people with lupus?" "Are there exercises I could do to keep myself healthy," "ABCs of nutrition," "How does lupus affect my eyes?"

S.L.E. Lupus Foundation: "Healthy Eating Tips for People with Lupus," "Can Lupus Affect My Brain?" "What You Should Know About Lupus: Easing Joint and Muscle Pain."

UpToDate: "Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by David Zelman on November 4, 2018

SOURCES:

Family Doctor: "Lupus."

Hospital for Special Surgery: "Thinking, Memory and Lupus: What We Know and What We Can Do."

Johns Hopkins Lupus Center: "Nervous System."

Lupus Foundation of America: "What Is Lupus?" "How does lupus affect the skin?" "What is the best way to cope with hair loss?" "15 Questions: Kidney Issues and Lupus," "New Review Summarizes the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke Among People with Lupus," "How does lupus affect the lungs and pulmonary system?" "How does smoking affect people with lupus?" "Are there exercises I could do to keep myself healthy," "ABCs of nutrition," "How does lupus affect my eyes?"

S.L.E. Lupus Foundation: "Healthy Eating Tips for People with Lupus," "Can Lupus Affect My Brain?" "What You Should Know About Lupus: Easing Joint and Muscle Pain."

UpToDate: "Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by David Zelman on November 4, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are things that I can do for my brain and central nervous system to help lessen the effects of lupus?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.