Neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) is the least understood, yet perhaps the most prevalent manifestation of lupus. The pathogenesis of NPSLE is multifactorial and involves various inflammatory cytokines, autoantibodies, and immune complexes resulting in vasculopathic, cytotoxic and autoantibody-mediated neuronal injury. The management of NPSLE is multimodal and has not been subjected to rigorous study. Different treatment regimens include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulation, and immunosuppressives such as cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and methotrexate. For refractory NPSLE, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), plasmapheresis, and rituximab have been used. Adjunctive symptomatic treatment complements these therapies by targeting mood disorders, psychosis, cognitive impairment, seizures or headaches. Several new biological agents are being tested including Belimumab, a human monoclonal antibody that targets B lymphocyte stimulator. This review focuses on the pathophysiology, treatment, and new potential therapies for neuropsychiatric manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus.
Keywords: SLE, neuropsychiatric lupus, immunosuppression, autoimmunity, autoantibody, neuropsychiatric lupus,, inflammatory cytokines, anticoagulation, lymphocyte stimulator, autoimmune disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Neuropsychiatric lupus (NPSLE)