Functional connectivity changes in core resting state networks are associated with cognitive performance in systemic lupus erythematosus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To investigate core resting state networks in SLE patients with and without neuropsychiatric symptoms by examining functional connectivity changes correlating with results of cognitive testing. Structural MRI and resting state-fMRI (rs-fMRI) were performed in 61 female SLE patients (mean age: 36.8 years, range 18.2–52.0 years) and 20 healthy controls (HC) (mean age 36.2 years, range 23.3–52.2 years) in conjunction with clinical examination and cognitive testing. Alterations in core resting state networks, not found in our healthy controls sample, correlated with cognitive performance gauged by neuropsychological tests in non-neuropsychiatric SLE (nNP) as well as in neuropsychiatric SLE patients (NP). The observed pattern of increased functional connectivity in core resting state networks correlated with reduced cognitive performance on all cognitive domains tested and with a heavy focus on DM, CE, and DM–CE in the NP subgroup. Furthermore, we found that the observed alterations in memory and psychomotor speed correlated with disease duration. In SLE patients both with and without clinically overt neuropsychiatric manifestations, we found changes in the functional connectivity of core resting state networks essential to cognitive functions. These findings may represent a rewiring of functional architecture in response to neuronal damage and could indicate suboptimal compensatory mechanisms at play.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Neurosciences
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


  • brain connectivity, cognitive dysfunction, functional connectivity, MRI, neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus, resting state functional MRI, RRID:SCR_001476, RRID:SCR_004757, RRID:SCR_005283, RRID:SCR_005927, SLE, systemic lupus erythematosus
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1856
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number11
Early online date2019 Feb 1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch