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Neuroimmunological antibody-mediated encephalitis and implications for diagnosis and therapy in neuropsychiatry

  • Joseph E. Marinas (a1), Dmitriy Matveychuk (a1), Serdar M. Dursun (a1) and Glen B. Baker (a1)

Abstract

The past decade has seen a surge of reports and investigations into cases of autoimmune-mediated encephalitis. The increasing recognition of these disorders is especially of relevance to the fields of neurology and psychiatry. Autoimmune encephalitis involves antibodies against synaptic receptors, neuronal cell surface proteins and intracellular targets. These disorders feature prominent symptoms of cognitive impairment and behavioural changes, often associated with the presence of seizures. Early in the clinical course, autoimmune encephalitis may manifest as psychiatric symptoms of psychosis and involve psychiatry as an initial point of contact. Although commonly associated with malignancy, these disorders can present in the absence of an inciting neoplasm. The identification of autoimmune encephalitis is of clinical importance as a large proportion of individuals experience a response to immunotherapy. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge on n-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-associated encephalitis and limbic encephalitis, the latter predominantly involving antibodies against the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor, the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)B receptor and leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 (LGI1) protein. In addition, we briefly describe anti-dopamine D2 receptor encephalitis. A summary of the literature will focus on common clinical presentations and course, diagnostic approaches and response to treatment. Since a substantial proportion of patients with autoimmune encephalitis exhibit symptoms of psychosis, the relevance of this disorder to theories of psychosis and schizophrenia will also be discussed.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Glen B. Baker, Email: glen.baker@ualberta.ca

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Neuroimmunological antibody-mediated encephalitis and implications for diagnosis and therapy in neuropsychiatry

  • Joseph E. Marinas (a1), Dmitriy Matveychuk (a1), Serdar M. Dursun (a1) and Glen B. Baker (a1)

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