Memory Dysfunction in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome Is Associated With Anti-NR2 Antibodies



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Incorrect Decapeptide Sequence in the Article by Lauvsnes et al (Arthritis Rheum, December 2013) Volume 66, Issue 4, 989, Article first published online: 28 March 2014



Our understanding of the etiology and pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric involvement in primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is incomplete. In systemic lupus erythematosus, it has been reported that antibodies directed against N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtype NR2 (anti-NR2) interfere with memory and learning function, as well as mood. This has not been investigated in primary SS; however, the present study was undertaken to advance our understanding of neuropsychiatric involvement in this disease.


Sixty-six patients with primary SS and 66 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects underwent clinical examination and neuropsychological evaluation. Anti-NR2 antibodies were measured in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Hippocampus volume was estimated using software extensions to SPM5.


Patients with primary SS had smaller hippocampi than healthy subjects (mean ± SD 8.15 ± 0.98 cm3 versus 8.49 ± 0.88 cm3; P = 0.01). In patients with primary SS, anti-NR2 antibodies in cerebrospinal fluid were associated with a worse performance in 8 of 10 memory and learning tests, and anti-NR2 antibodies in serum were associated with a worse performance in 6 of those same tests. In addition, a higher proportion of patients with depression than patients without depression had serum anti-NR2 antibody levels above the cutoff value.


Results of this study indicate that anti-NR2 antibodies may represent one of the pathogenetic mechanisms for cognitive disturbances and mood disorders in patients with primary SS.