can lupus effect memory

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 7/27/2008 1:51 AM (GMT -6)   
i was wondering if lupus can cause cognitive problems.  I've been having a hard time with short term memory, focusing, concentrating, coming up with a word i wat to say.  does lupus effect you in that way?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 7/27/2008 8:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh Domanique,

You just described my brain to a tee!!! Most of us call it brain fog, and it seems to come with the package of having lupus. When I get that way, I just tell my friends and family I'm having a lupus moment and to give me a few minutes to get my head straight. I've come to a point where I just right everything down and stick it to the fridge so I don't forget to do certain things. I forget simple words all the time, and it seems to be getting a little worse, so I guess it's time to let my rheumy know.

Do you have a rheumatologist yet? If so, let him/her know everything you are going through. Just remember, you are not alone. There are many people here who are going through what you are.
dix: lupus sle Jan. '99, hypo-thyroid Mar. '06
rx: pred. 5mg/day, plaquenil 200mg/day, levothyroxine .112mg/day, premarin .45mg/day, methotrexate 7.5mg/week, folic acid 1mg/day
wife, mother of three

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1296
   Posted 7/27/2008 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, yes and yes.
Lupus can have neurological effects and short term memory and concentration are the most common.  I also find myself less able to handle stress and I believe that is related as well.  We all refer to it as lupus brain or lupus fog...sounds more colorful but it is a challenge.
You are not imagining your condition.  I was in a rehab hospital for a long time and as part of the evaluation was tested for cognitive problems.  Thought it was silly until I got the results.  It has improved slowly over the past 3 years but it is still a problem.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 6942
   Posted 7/27/2008 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, it can very very definitely affect brain function. Many of us experience fog to the levels you are describing. It can also be much more severe than brain fog. It can show up in an MRI as CNS Lupus, or sometimes it can be found by having neuropsych testing done.

I'm one of the unfortunates who has some actual measurable cognitive dysfunction that was proven through neuropsych testing. Brain function for me was much improved by a course of Cellcept, but I still seem to have residual damage and no one has any idea if it will improve or not.

However, don't be too worried. Dysfunction to the extremes I've experienced is fairly rare. You are more than likely in the "normal" fog range of the average Lupin...however, do make it clear what is happening to your doctor. They should be able to determine whether additional testing is needed or not, and prescribe some treatment that might help.


Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, Raynaud's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Prednisone(was 15mg, now 8mg), Cellcept, Xanax, Trazodone, Boniva(3mth shot), Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS (4 of 11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions

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