Send to

Choose Destination
Neurology. 2014 Feb 18;82(7):556-63. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000126. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

Clinical specificities of adult male patients with NMDA receptor antibodies encephalitis.

Author information

From the French Reference Center on Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndrome (A.V, V.D., F.D., G.P., G.C., V.R., J.-C.A., J.-Y.D., J.H.), Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital Neurologique, Neuro-Oncology, Bron; Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (A.V., V.D., F.D., J.-C.A., J.H.), INSERM U1028/CNRS UMR 5292, Lyon; Université de Lyon-Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (A.V., V.D., F.D., J.H.), Lyon; Service de Neurologie (J.-C.A.), CHU de Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne; and Service de Neurologie Mazarin (J.-Y.D.), Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, APHP, Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, UMR S975, CNRS, UMR 7225, Paris, France.



The aim of this study was to describe the clinical features and specificities of adult male patients with NMDA receptor antibodies (NMDAr-Abs) encephalitis.


Observational study of 13 adult male patients who were diagnosed with NMDAr-Abs encephalitis at the French Paraneoplastic Neurological Syndrome Reference Center.


Adult male patients frequently presented initially with a seizure (8/13, 61.5%). Seizures were partial in 5/8 patients and were followed only a few days later (median 12 days; range 2-17 days) by psychiatric or cognitive symptoms. Conversely, adult female patients rarely presented with a seizure initially (8/58, 14%, p < 0.001), and most of their seizures were generalized and were rapidly followed (median 2 days; range 1-7 days) by behavioral and psychiatric features. Additionally, in male patients the disease was rarely associated with a tumor (1/13 or 8%, a perineal schwannoma); in contrast, 41% of female patients had an associated tumor (95% of which were ovarian teratomas; p = 0.02 male vs female association with tumor). The incidences of abnormalities in ancillary tests, treatment modalities, clinical evolution, and outcome were equal for both subgroups.


Adult male patients who have partial seizures, normal MRI results, and no clear etiology should be tested for NMDAr-Abs to avoid any delays in treatment initiation. Adult female patients who had a seizure as the first symptom are infrequent when NMDAr-Abs encephalitis is diagnosed; additionally, their clinical pattern is different from male patients, with more generalized seizures and rapid development of behavioral and psychiatric symptoms. The differences in hormonal influence could contribute to this difference in clinical pattern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center