Lupus (also called systemic lupus erythematosus) is a disorder of the immune system. Normally, the immune system protects the body against invading infections and cancers. In lupus, the immune system is over-active and produces increased amounts of abnormal antibodies that attack the body's tissues and organs. Lupus can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, and blood vessels. The signs and symptoms of lupus differ from person to person; the disease can range from mild to life threatening.
Initial symptoms of lupus may begin with a fever, vascular headaches, epilepsy, or psychoses. A striking feature of lupus is a butterfly shaped rash over the cheeks. In addition to headache, lupus can cause other neurological disorders, such as mild cognitive dysfunction, organic brain syndrome, peripheral neuropathies, sensory neuropathy, psychological problems (including personality changes, paranoia, mania, and schizophrenia), seizures, transverse myelitis, and paralysis and stroke.
|Lupus Alliance of America
3871 Harlem Road
Buffalo, NY 14215
|Lupus Foundation of America
2000 L Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202-349-1155 800-558-0121
|American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI 48021-2227
Tel: 586-776-3900 800-598-4668
|National Institute of Arthritis and
Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
31 Center Dr., Rm. 4C02 MSC 2350
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Tel: 301-496-8190 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892
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Last updated February 13, 2007