Case Report and Discussion of Anti-NMDA-Receptor Encephalitis

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Michel Lafleche

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Abstract

Encephalitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the brain parenchyma caused by any etiology.1 Current studies indicate that even after thorough investigation, the majority of patients diagnosed with encephalitis have an unknown etiology.2 We present an 11-year-old girl who presented acutely to hospital after suffering generalized tonic-clonic seizures progressing into status epilepticus requiring admission to ICU. Upon extubation, the patient had a decreased level of consciousness, was mute, lethargic, and displayed abnormal movements. After a prolonged stay in hospital for treatment, she was discharged for rehabilitation. A clinical diagnosis of limbic encephalitis was made, and a thorough work-up failed to reveal any specific etiology. The clinical picture was most consistent with autoimmune encephalitis. The discussion reviews the current literature on anti-NMDA-receptor encephalitis, a syndrome recently discovered in 2007 and an increasingly diagnosed cause of limbic encephalitis in children.