Cognitive impairment in elderly patients with rheumatic disease and the effect of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs

Akhil Sood, Mukaila A. Raji

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Recent development of biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) has led to better control of disease activity among patients with chronic rheumatological diseases. Many patients with rheumatic disease are living longer, adding to the growing elderly population. Rheumatic diseases, most notably rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), are known to increase the risk of cognitive impairment. Systemic inflammation associated with chronic rheumatological diseases has been postulated to be key driver of cognitive decline. Recent development of classic and biologic DMARDs have led to better control of disease activity among patients with rheumatic conditions. It is proposed that strict control of systemic inflammation will significantly lower the risk of cognitive impairment among patients with rheumatic disease. The impact of classic DMARDs on cognitive function appears to be variable. On the other hand, biologic DMARDs, specifically antitumor necrosis factor (TNF) drugs (i.e., etanercept), have been shown to significantly lower the risk of dementia. Experimental studies on IL-1, IL-6, and B and T cell blockade are promising. However, clinical data is limited. Preclinical studies on targeted therapies, specifically JAK/STAT inhibitors, also show promising results. Additional studies are necessary to better understand the impact of these newer biologic agents on cognitive function in elderly patients with rheumatic disease.Key points

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Rheumatology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Biologics
  • Cognition
  • Rheumatic diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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