Department of Neurology, Toyama University Hospital.
Abstract As anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis develops with incipient psychiatric symptoms in most patients, they initially seek medical care at psychiatric services. It would be desirable, therefore, for psychiatrists to be well aware of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. From this point of view, we conducted a questionnaire survey of psychiatrists to explore the present status of their level of awareness about anti-NMDAR encephalitis. A questionnaire survey of 115 psychiatrists engaged in medical care in Toyama Prefecture was conducted to explore their level of familiarity with anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Responses to the questionnaire were received from 76 psychiatrists (response collection rate 66.1%). The mean tenure in the medical profession was 23.5 ± 13.8 years for the 76 psychiatrists, of whom 61 (80.3%) were psychiatric specialists. As for the level of awareness of anti-NMDAR encephalitis, there were 37 doctors (48.7%) who were “not aware of this disorder,” 23 (30.3%) who were “aware of only the name of this disorder,” and 16 (21.0%) who had “knowledge of an outline of this disorder.” While the level of familiarity of doctors with “knowledge of an outline of this disorder” was unrelated to whether the doctor was a specialist, the tenure in the medical profession was significantly shorter for these doctors than for the others (P < 0.05). Of the doctors who were “not aware of this disorder” and those who were “aware of only the name of this disorder,” a high percentage comprised physicians working at hospitals/clinics specializing in psychiatry (P < 0.05). Only 7 doctors had encountered case(s) of anti-NMDAR encephalitis (9.2%), and among them, a significantly high percentage was on the staff of polyclinic hospitals (P < 0.05). The present survey revealed low levels of familiarity of psychiatrists with anti-NMDAR encephalitis, and this highlights the importance of further improving the awareness of psychiatrists about the concept of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. (Received: March 28, 2012, Accepted: May 23, 2012).
- [PubMed – in process]