Lupus Australia, Queensland Inc

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Forget Me Not

By Patrick Hayes

People living with lupus know that episodes of "lupus fog" can happen at any time, affecting memory and the ability to focus.  In fact, up to 80 per cent of people with lupus experience some degree of cognitive loss.  But these practical strategies from our experts in memory retention can help you fight back!

Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Exercise keeps your brain oxygenated and invigorated, while a proper diet gives your brain the right fuel to perform optimally.  Start the day off right by eating a breakfast that contains protein, whole grain, and fruit.  Also try to incorporate sources of Vitamin C and beta-carotene into your daily diet - these antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that can help lessen the overactive immune response caused by lupus.

Do one thing at a time.
"When a person is experiencing cognitive problems, I really discourage  multitasking", says Robin L. Brey, M.D., professor of neurology at the the University of Texas Health
Science Centre.  Having one task on your plate at a time reduces the potential for concentration to slip.

Make a "to do" list.
This will keep your mind on one issue at a time and prevent you from getting sidetracked.  "Use anything you have to make a list - a Blackberry, a Palm Pilot, a handheld tape recorder, or even Post-It notes," advises Brey.

Eliminate everyday distractions. 
Dale Anderson, M.D., recommends cutting down on watching television, because it's not participatory.  Rather, he recommends having a hobby, like a regular card game or involvement in a social club or faith-based organisation.  "Stay connected with other people;  don't be a loner," says Anderson.  This will help keep your brain engaged.

Exercise your brain every day.
Work on a jigsaw puzzle or complete a sudoku or crossword puzzle.  Look up new words in the dictionary.  Find interesting facts about your favourite topics on the Web.  Be sure you do something that is interesting and challenging to you, Brey advises.  Think of these mental exercises as having a positive effect on your brain similar to the effect daily walks have on your body.  They keep your mind sharp and spry.

With thanks to Lupus Now - Spring 2008.



Why are new lupus drugs needed?

What should lupus patients and their families know about Benlysta? WebMD consulted Eric L. Gredinger, MD, chief of rheumatism and immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, FDA briefing documents, and the FDA approval announcement.


Officially know as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), lupus ia an autoimmune disease. It's relatively common, affecting about one in 1,000 people. But some people with lupus have such mild disease they may never know they have it.

Others have relatively mild disease that can be controlled with current treatments. These include over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, corticosteroids such as prednisone, antimalaria drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, powerful immunosuppressants, and cancer chemotherapies. (Lupus is not caused by malaria and is not a cancer, but malarial drugs and chemotherapies suppress various manifestations of lupus).

Still other patients experience frequent lupus flare-ups and suffer devastating side effects from current treatments. And finally, there are patients with life-threatening lupus, at risk of major organ failure.

In all those cases, the current drugs while not perfect provide a good series of choices,” Greidinger says.

Patients with mild disease may not need treatment, or may be able to keep their symptoms under control with relatively safe antimalaria drugs.

Patients with the most severe disease – including lupus affecting the kidneys or brain – can benefit from more aggressive treatment.

But patients in the middle category are more difficult to treat, Greidinger says. They may not get relief from the safest lupus treatments. But stronger treatments, continued over time, may cause side effects that are worse than a patient's symptoms.




Lupus Booklet

A nineteen page booklet filled with stories and poems written by people who have lupus

Including a foreword written by Dr Carola G Vinuesa and Dr Matthew Cook, research scientists who are looking at the causes of lupus.

Contact us if you are interested in purchasing this interesting little book

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