PubMed.gov reports a case of a woman in whom a tremor appeared 10 years prior to her diagnosis of Lupus. This lupus tremor remained the only neurological sign throughout her disease. The lupus tremor was said to have disappeared after corticosteroid therapy.

According to Dr. Robin Brey, who provides medical advice for the Lupus Foundation of America, lupus can lead to vertigo and mild tremors, but these symptoms are not very commonly due to lupus. A lupus tremor may also be a side effect of the medication that a person is taking for lupus. In any case it is best to discuss the manifestation of any lupus tremor with your doctor, as it could be a sign of lupus affecting the nervous system.

 

Neurological Problems in Lupus

 

Neurological problems are one of the manifestations that may come about from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). These complications are serious, but treatable, according to MedScape.com. There are a wide variety of neurological symptoms that may occur. However, since neurological symptoms may be the only ones present, a neurologist could diagnose a number of reasons for the symptoms, never even suspecting lupus. Some believe that neurologists should screen their patients for lupus initially for this reason.

The cause of neurological problems that are related to SLE can be complicated to pin down. Neurological and psychiatric symptoms occur because of the disease process itself, but may also be due to drug side effects and/or organ system damage, such as damage to the liver or kidneys. The American College of Rheumatology has defined 19 neuropsychiatric syndromes (NPS) that occur in SLE. These include the conditions directly associated with the disease, not the ones which occur because of organ involvement or therapy, according to Asktheneurologist.com.

Neurological problems which occur in lupus may also be interrelated. For example, inflammation of the spinal cord may be isolated or accompanied by Neuromyelitis optica and/or multiple sclerosis. Also, a stroke may lead to weakness on one side of the body, as well as cognitive problems and seizures.

A person with SLE, who has neurological problems as well, may experience symptoms such as:

  • A lupus tremor
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Strokes

 

There are several different ways in which SLE may affect the nervous system directly. Nerve tissues may be damaged as a result of an antibody attack on the nerve cells. If blood flow to the nerves is slowed or interrupted it injures the nervous system or the nervous system is unable to function normally. Nerve system damage can also occur as a result of antibodies attacking the blood vessels.