Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage skin, joints and/ or organs. When someone has Lupus then something goes wrong in the immune system , meaning that the body can’t recognize foreign invaders like bacteria and germs from it’s own healthy tissue and as a result the body starts attacking itself.
Up to 75% of those with Lupus develop neuropsychiatric symptoms. However we’ve been quite in the dark as to how Lupus affects the brain, until now. A new study from Boston Children’s Hospital thats been published in Nature has brought more clarification to the matter.
Allison Bialas who worked on the study told to medical Express that in general people with Lupus show symptoms of anxiety, depression, headaches, seizures, even psychosis but it’s only recently been accepted as symptoms of Lupus.
So much the more interesting the study. What they found was that in Lupus causes the body’s white blood celles to release type 1 interferon alpha, a cytokine that acts as an alarm signal and triggering a cascade of immune activity.
Until now it has not been thought that these cytokines was able to cross into the brain – however the new study shows that is the case, and once there it launces microglia which is the immune defense of the Central Nervous System, which caused synapses to be lost in the frontal cortex.
Now why is this study interesting ? Because the way the immune system works is to mark problems and dangers with inflammation, and as such Lupus has now become a model for hos mental illness is caused by an inflammatory response. Michael Caroll, senior author on the study concludes very clearly:”We’ve found a mechanism that directly links inflammation to mental illness,” .
You can find the study by following this link.