Martin G. Pomper, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

“Imaging Microglial Activation in Neuropsychiatric Lupus”

2011 Neuropsychiatric Lupus Research Grant

This grant award is presented in memory of Kassie McMullin Biglow and with funds contributed by the LFA, Akron Area Chapter and LFA, DC/MD/VA Chapter

Eighty percent of patients with lupus have cognitive impairment within ten years of diagnosis. However, cognitive impairment may occur even before a diagnosis of lupus has been confirmed, suggesting that the brain is especially vulnerable to the disease. Dr. Pomper is currently utilizing advanced brain imaging techniques that may enable the identification of brain abnormalities in people with lupus much earlier than conventional methods allow. Importantly, Dr. Pomper is pioneering the use of a novel compound that is taken up by specific cells in the brain having increased inflammatory activity. This activity can be monitored by brain imaging methods to help identify cases of neuropsychiatric lupus, track prognosis, and even monitor the effects of therapeutics in lupus patients.