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Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by damage to multiple organs caused by systemic autoimmunity. One of the characteristic features in SLE is the presence of numerous autoantibodies. Although certain autoantibodies such as anti-double strands DNA antibodies are known to be pathological, the correlation between many autoantibodies and tissue damage in patients with SLE remains unclear. Although the prognosis for survival in patients with SLE has improved dramatically in recent decades, its neuropsychiatric complications remain a major cause of morbidity. The neuropsychiatric manifestations can be attributed to SLE itself and are referred to as neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE). Multiple factors are involved in the pathogenesis of NPSLE including the genetic background, vasoculopathy, autoantibodies, and inflammatory mediators associated with SLE. However, neuropsychiatric manifestations can also be caused by other factors not associated with SLE, including steroid psychosis, infectious diseases, and metabolic factors. Therefore, NPLSE can be diagnosed in patients with SLE only if other causes have been excluded; difficulty in diagnosing NPSLE often occurs in many cases.
Various potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of NPSLE have been reported. However, useful and practical diagnostic biomarkers with high specificity for NPSLE have not been established to date. This review summarized the current data on autoantibodies recognized in NPSLE, and described their diagnostic value and pathogenic roles.
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