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Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2007 Jun;68(2-3):173-6. Epub 2007 Jun 19.

Cortico-responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (SREAT): about two case reports characterized by a gap between the diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis and neurological disorders.

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Département Diabète Urologie Néphrologie Endocrinologie (DUNE), CHU de Grenoble, BP 217, 38043 Grenoble cedex 9, France.


We report two cases of steroid responsive encephalopathy associated with autoimmune thyroiditis (SREAT) often called "Hashimoto's encephalopathy" in which the neurological manifestations develop years before or after the Hashimoto's diagnosis. Because of this specific presentation, the etiological diagnosis of this type of encephalopathy can be a difficult task. In our patients there was a gap of 10 to 20 years between the proof of autoimmune thyroiditis and the neurological symptoms. Case reports of this type of presentation are rare in the literature. A dramatic responsiveness to steroids with total recovery, after several relapses, was confirmed 3 years after the end of treatment. We suggest that antithyroid antibodies should be checked in all patients with unexplained acute or subacute encephalopathy even in elderly subjects in whom the most important differential diagnosis with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease remains rapidly progressive Alzheimer's disease. A brief review of the literature is proposed.

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