Treating Lupus Alone May Not Improve Comordbid Mood Disorders

December 2, 2014

(ACR2014) Mood disorders are common among lupus patients, but the lupus symptoms appear not to be the direct cause in many cases, according to an international study.

Hanly JG for the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics, Su L, Urowitz M et al. Mood Disorders in Systemic Lupus Erythematousus (SLE): Results from an International, Inception Cohort Study. ACR Annual Meeting Abstract #2646. Arthritis & Rheumatology 2014: 66(1) Supplement.

Mood disorders are frequent neuropsychiatric events in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), but only about one-third of these mood disorders are attributable to lupus, according to an international study.

Improving the lupus symptoms, therefore, may not alter the mood disorder.

The researchers in this consortium conducted an inception cohort study which included 1,827 new-onset SLE patientsenrolled at 32 centers in 11 countries and assessed annually for up to 14 years.

They found that mood disorder with major depressive-like episodes and mood disorder with depressive features accounted for 96.8% of all mood disorders in lupus patients. They also found the risk for mood disorders higher in patients with other concurrent neuropsychiatric events (p<0.01) and lower in patients with Asian ancestry (p=0.01) and those who took immunosuppressive drugs but not antidepressants (p=0.003).

The researchers found no association between mood disorders and SLEDAI-2K, SDI scores, or lupus autoantibodies.

“The lack of association of most mood disorders with global SLE disease activity, cumulative organ damage, and lupus autoantibodies emphasizes their multifactorial etiology and a role for non-lupus-specific therapies,” the researchers concluded.