A breakthrough study by a SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University research team has identified a specific antibody target implicated in neuropsychiatric symptoms of lupus. These symptoms, including cognitive impairment, mood disorders, seizures, headaches and psychosis, are among the most prevalent manifestations of the disease and occur in as many as 80% of adults and 95% of children with lupus.
The study identified antibodies that are directed at regulatory brain cytoplasmic RNAs (BC ribonucleic acid) that are unique to lupus patients. In layman's terms, these antibodies disrupt these regulators of protein synthesis that allow synapses in the brain to control how they receive, store and recall information. Because these antibodies are unique in the brains of lupus patients, the study suggests that this is at the root of neuropsychiatric symptoms seen in these patients.
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