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Epilepsy Behav Case Rep. 2015 Nov 4;4:99-101. doi: 10.1016/j.ebcr.2015.07.005. eCollection 2015.

Anti-NMDA-receptor antibody encephalitis in infants.

Author information

1
University of Florida & Wolfson Children Hospital, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
2
Nemours Children Health System, Jacksonville, FL, USA; Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
3
University of Florida & Wolfson Children Hospital, Jacksonville, FL, USA; Nemours Children Health System, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
4
Nemours Children Health System, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
5
University of Florida & Wolfson Children Hospital, Jacksonville, FL, USA; Nemours Children Health System, Jacksonville, FL, USA; Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antibody encephalitis is an autoimmune disorder manifesting subacutely with prominent aberrant movements and psychiatric symptoms. The clinical course is one of progressive clinical deterioration that can be halted and often reversed by early diagnosis and treatment. Patterns of presentation and etiology of anti-NMDA-receptor antibody encephalitis are dependent on age and can be challenging to recognize in very young children.

REPORTS:

Sequential clinical case observations of anti-NMDA-receptor antibody encephalitis presenting in very young children were examined over a year at a single tertiary pediatric institution. Cerebrospinal fluid confirmed anti-NMDA-receptor antibodies in two cases (a 21-month-old boy and a 29-month-old girl) that demonstrated either bizarre behavioral patterns or status epilepticus both associated with progressive deterioration. Once recognized, the clinical course was arrested and reversed by aggressive treatment with plasma exchange, immunoglobulin, and high dose IV steroids.

CONCLUSION:

Infants with anti-NMDA-receptor antibody encephalitis can present with frank seizures or seizure mimics. Regardless, prompt recognition and aggressive treatment of anti-NMDA-receptor antibody encephalitis, while challenging, can quickly arrest deterioration and hasten recovery, thereby, limiting neurological morbidity.

KEYWORDS:

Anti-NMDA-receptor, anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate-receptor; Anti-NMDAR; Behavioral outburst; CSF, cerebrospinal fluid; Child; EEG, electroencephalogram; Encephalitis; Paraneoplastic syndrome; Psychosis

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