Mood disorders and fibromyalgia impair the cognitive function in SLE patients

A recent study published in the journal  Rheumatology by Raghunath et al. has reported  more consistent association of depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia  with patient-reported cognitive symptoms, as opposed to objective cognitive dysfunction. These factors were also found to have  a significant impact on quality of life of affected subjects.

The researchers evaluated the effect of mood disorder, fibromyalgia, fatigue cognitive symptoms on quality of life, patient-reported cognitive symptoms and cognitive test performance. History of depression or anxiety and high fibromyalgia symptom score had significant associations with cognitive dysfunction. However, no significant association was noted for depression, anxiety symptoms, or fatigue score with objective cognitive dysfunction. On contrary, history/symptoms of mood disorder, fibromyalgia symptoms and fatigue demonstrated significant associations with patient-reported cognitive symptoms.  No significant associations were noted between patient-reported cognitive symptoms and objective cognitive dysfunction.

Cognitive dysfunction is prominent  in SLE patients, irrespective of the age. However, very few studies have evaluated  the clinical relevance of  cognitive dysfunction in SLE. The present study is touted as the first one comprehensively evaluating the associations of fibromyalgia and mood disorders with patient-reported cognitive symptoms and cognitive test performance in SLE patients.

Reference: Raghunath S, Guymer EK, Glikmann-Johnston Y, et al. Fibromyalgia, mood disorders, cognitive test results, cognitive symptoms and quality of life in systemic lupus erythematosus [published online ahead of print, 2022 Apr 5]. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022;keac207.