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"Are lupus and Alzheimer's associated?"
Alzheimer's disease runs in my family. I'm a 48 year old woman, and I'm terrified of it. I was just diagnosed with lupus, which is a whole separate issue, but does that make me more likely to get Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain condition which is the leading cause of dementia in the world. The condition leads to a progressive loss of cognitive function, coupled with an impairment in social function. There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease.
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Lupus, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disorder which can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, kidneys, and skin. Lupus can have some neurological manifestations which in severe cases may look like dementia. However the cause is autoimmune and different from the cause in Alzheimer's which is degenerative. Importantly, most of the symptoms of lupus can be controlled with medications to modulate the immune symptoms, whereas no medications are very effective in preventing Alzheimer's progression. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. If you have any concerning symptoms you should set up an office visit as soon as possible with your primary care doctor.
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