Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Encephalitis Mimicking a Primary Psychiatric Disorder in an Adolescent.

J Child Neurol. 2012 Dec;27(12):1607-10. doi: 10.1177/0883073812438099. Epub  2012 Mar 8.


1Department of Pediatric Medico-surgical, Pediatric Neurology and Neurorehabilitation Unit, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate (anti-NMDA) receptor encephalitis likely has a wider clinical spectrum than previously recognized. This article reports a previously healthy 16-year-old girl who was diagnosed with anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis 3 months after onset of severe depression with psychotic features. She had no neurological manifestations, and cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was normal. Slow background on electroencephalogram and an oligoclonal band in the cerebrospinal fluid prompted the search for anti-NMDA receptor antibodies. She markedly improved over time but remained with mild neuropsychological sequelae after a trial of late immunotherapy. Only a high index of suspicion enables recognition of the milder forms of the disease masquerading as primary psychiatric disorders.

[PubMed – in process]

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