Immunity and Acquired Alterations in Cognition and Emotion: Lessons from SLE
Motion Therapy, Continuous Passive
Classic immunologic teaching describes the brain as an immunologically privileged site. Studies of neuroimmunology have focused for many years almost exclusively on multiple sclerosis, a disease in which inflammatory cells actually infiltrate brain tissue, and the rodent model of this disease, experimental allergic encephalitis. Over the past decade, however, increasingly, brain-reactive antibodies have been demonstrated in the serum of patients with numerous neurological diseases. The contribution these antibodies make to neuronal dysfunction has, in general, not been determined. Here, we describe recent studies showing that serum antibodies to the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor occur frequently in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and can cause alterations in cognition and behavior following a breach in the blood-brain barrier.