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World J Biol Psychiatry. 2002 Oct;3(4):225-8.

Encephalomyelitis disseminata: a rare, but challenging differential diagnosis of anorectic disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.


The frequent occurrence of psychiatric syndromes in encephalomyelitis disseminata is known to obscure its diagnosis. We here report on the case of a 19-year-old female patient presenting symptoms of anorexia nervosa and subsequently diagnosed as suffering from encephalomyelitis disseminata. High dose corticoid treatment resulted in a nearly complete remission of the neurological symptoms as well as the normalization of her eating behaviour. Our case report underscores the importance of considering 'organic' aetiology in patients with symptoms of distinct eating disorders. The clinical course confirms recent findings, suggesting that acute inflammation in encephalomyelitis disseminata may induce behavioural symptoms, which precede the onset of neurological signs. To our knowledge, only one previous case has been reported to date.

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