Inflammation is coming clearly into focus as a primary driver of noncommunicable disease. While it is certainly true that the inflammatory response plays a critical role in the body’s management of acute injury and infection, repeated stimulation or persistence of the inflammatory response lead to dysfunction. Chronic inflammation may manifest in nearly any area of the body, inducing symptoms related to that organ or other parts of the body via downstream effects.
Up to 75 percent of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus — an incurable autoimmune disease commonly known as lupus — experience neuropsychiatric symptoms. But so far, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying lupus’ effects on the brain has remained murky.