Lupus is a complex autoimmune, rheumatic disease with symptoms that can range from mild to severe. It can affect any part of the body and seriously challenge patients and their families. The purpose of this research study is to find out how lupus affects the brain. Patients with lupus and one of their friends are receiving a special magnetic resonance image (MRI) to assess whether their blood-brain barrier, a tissue that separates the brain tissue from immunological changes in other parts of the body. All patients will undergo formal testing of their thinking ability (also cognition) by a specialist.
Micro-RNAs are small protein particles that regulate among others immune responses. The objective of this study is to find out whether the various types of micro-RNAs could serve as new laboratory tests for lupus nephritis when measured in the blood and the urine.