Systemic Lupus Erythematosus :: Involvement of the amygdala in systemic lupus erythematosus
In a mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), anti-NMDA receptor antibodies have been shown to gain access to the brain during stress, specifically damaging the amygdala (a part of the brain that is involved in emotion) and causing altered emotional responses.
In a paper published in PLoS Medicine from Leiden University Medical Center of 37 patients with neuropsychiatric SLE, 21 patients with SLE, and a group of 12 healthy control participants, damage was found in the amygdala of patients with SLE, especially in patients with anti-NMDA receptor antibodies. These results offer a glimpse into the interaction between the immune system and the brain.
A related perspective article by Betty Diamond and Bruce Volpe discusses the findings further.