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The term limbic encephalitis has been used with an oncological precedent for over 50 years and, since then, has been applied in relation to multiple antibodies found in its etiological process. Over the last decade, the psychiatric community has brought paraneoplastic autoimmune limbic encephalitis (PALE) to a new light, scattering the once known relationships between said screened antibodies responsible for causing limbic encephalitis. Due to the fact that some individuals with this condition have a psychiatric syndrome as an initial manifestation, the aim of this updated scoping review is to reestablish a causal relationship between the onconeuronal autoantibodies, both intracellular and extracellular, possible underlying malignancies and subsequent neuropsychiatric syndrome. In pair with it, there is the idea of sketching a cleaner thorough picture of what poses as psychiatric symptoms as well as possible therapeutics. Even though the always evolving epistemology of the neurosciences achieved a significant unveiling of what includes PALE in its relevant pathological subgroups, the amount of gray literature still is much superior, appealing to a further research with more randomized controlled trials, with larger populations, so that the results corroborate the small amount of data that already exist and posteriorly be applied in the general population.
Albeit primarily a disease of respiratory tract, the 2019 coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) has been found to have causal association with a plethora of neurological, neuropsychiatric and psychological effects. This review aims to analyze them with a discussion of evolving therapeutic recommendations.
PubMed and Google Scholar were searched from 1 January 2020 to 30 May 2020 with the following key terms: “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, “pandemic”, “neuro-COVID”, “stroke-COVID”, “epilepsy-COVID”, “COVID-encephalopathy”, “SARS-CoV-2-encephalitis”, “SARS-CoV-2-rhabdomyolysis”, “COVID-demyelinating disease”, “neurological manifestations”, “psychosocial manifestations”, “treatment recommendations”, “COVID-19 and therapeutic changes”, “psychiatry”, “marginalised”, “telemedicine”, “mental health”, “quarantine”, “infodemic” and “social media”. A few newspaper reports related to COVID-19 and psychosocial impacts have also been added as per context.
Neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of COVID-19 are abundant. Clinical features of both central and peripheral nervous system involvement are evident. These have been categorically analyzed briefly with literature support. Most of the psychological effects are secondary to pandemic-associated regulatory, socioeconomic and psychosocial changes.
Neurological and neuropsychiatric manifestations of this disease are only beginning to unravel. This demands a wide index of suspicion for prompt diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 to prevent further complications and mortality.
The Biofire® Film Array Meningitis Encephalitis (FAME) panel can rapidly diagnose common aetiologies but its impact in Colombia is unknown. A retrospective study of adults with CNS infections in one tertiary hospital in Colombia. The cohort was divided into two time periods: before and after the implementation of the Biofire® FAME panel in May 2016. A total of 98 patients were enrolled, 52 and 46 were enrolled in the Standard of Care (SOC) group and in the FAME group, respectively. The most common comorbidity was human immunodeficiency virus infection (47.4%). The median time to a change in therapy was significantly shorter in the FAME group than in the SOC group (3 vs. 137.3 h, P < 0.001). This difference was driven by the timing to appropriate therapy (2.1 vs. 195 h, P < 0.001) by identifying viral aetiologies. Overall outcomes and length of stay were no different between both groups (P > 0.2). The FAME panel detected six aetiologies that had negative cultures but missed identifying one patient with Cryptococcus neoformans. The introduction of the Biofire FAME panel in Colombia has facilitated the identification of viral pathogens and has significantly reduced the time to the adjustment of empirical antimicrobial therapy.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) encephalitis is rare and shows a wide range of clinical manifestations. We report an immunocompromised patient with EBV encephalitis diagnosed by EBV-specific PCR and antibody testing in the cerebrospinal fluid who presented with psychiatric symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in the absence of any neurological impairments or infectious signs. Clinical recovery and clearance of cerebrospinal fluid EBV DNA appeared following ganciclovir treatment within 6 weeks.
Encephalitis causes high morbidity and mortality. An incidence of 4.3 cases of encephalitis/100 000 population has been reported in the UK. We performed a retrospective evaluation of the diagnosis and management of adults admitted to hospital with a clinical diagnosis of encephalitis/meningoencephalitis. Clinical, laboratory and radiological data were collated from electronic records. Thirty-six patients, median age 55 years and 24 (67%) male were included. The aetiology was confirmed over nine months in 25 (69%) of whom 16 were infections (six viral, seven bacterial, two parasitic and one viral and parasitic co-infection); 7 autoimmune; 1 metabolic and 1 neoplastic. Of 24 patients with fever, 15 (63%) had an infection. The median time to computed topography, magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography (EEG) was 1, 8 and 3 days respectively. Neuroimaging was abnormal in 25 (69%) and 17 (89%) had abnormal EEGs. Only 19 (53%) received aciclovir treatment. Six (17%) made good recoveries, 16 (44%) had moderate disability, 8 (22%) severe disability and 6 (17%) died. Outcomes were worse for those with an infectious cause. In summary, a diagnosis was made in 69.4% of patients admitted with encephalitis/meningoencephalitis. Autoimmune causes are important to consider at an early stage due to a successful response to treatment. Only 53% of patients received aciclovir on admission. Neuroimaging and EEG studies were delayed. The results of this work resulted in further developing the clinical algorithm for managing these patients.
N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) encephalitis is a recently described autoimmune disease that typically presents with prodromal symptoms including upper respiratory tract infection, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Psychiatric symptoms follow within weeks, including anxiety, insomnia, mania, paranoia and grandiose delusions. The diagnosis is confirmed by the detection of NMDA antibodies in the serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).1 Tumours, especially teratomas, are frequently associated with NMDA encephalitis; however, only 5% of male patients older than 18 years have been found to have an underlying tumour. Optic neuropathy associated with NMDA encephalitis is being increasingly recognised in the literature2–6 and was reviewed most recently by Mugavin et al.2 in 2017. In this report, we present a case of bilateral optic neuropathy in a young man diagnosed with NMDA receptor encephalitis.
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.
Anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an immune-mediated disorder which requires multi-disciplinary treatment including immunomodulation therapy. First presentation is most commonly to psychiatric services and continuing psychiatric care is required to treat disabling symptoms, such as behaviour disturbance, psychosis and catatonia. There is minimal available evidence to guide symptomatic treatment and concern for increased sensitivity to antipsychotics complicates traditional approaches.
All cases of cerebrospinal fluid positive anti-NMDAR encephalitis tested in Queensland, Australia were identified. Demographic, clinical and therapeutic data were collected and reviewed by two independent clinicians. Pre-specified variables reflecting possible treatment side effects were compared.
The majority of the 30 cases (83%) had early psychiatric symptoms and were treated with antipsychotics (67%), average daily olanzapine equivalence dose of 11.5 mg, prior to immunomodulation therapy. Although there was an 88% reduction in cases with aggression, there was little improvement in psychosis, affective symptoms or catatonia with antipsychotics alone. In the cases with psychiatric symptoms, there was no significant difference in the rate of occurrence of neurological and autonomic symptoms between cases prescribed and not prescribed antipsychotics.
Psychiatric input is imperative for both acute and longer-term management of anti-NMDAR encephalitis. Primary symptomatic treatment should remain immunotherapy and surgery. Antipsychotic medications have particular value in managing agitation and aggression. Potential side effects from antipsychotic treatment are difficult to differentiate from progression of anti-NMDAR encephalitis but there was no evidence in this cohort of increased antipsychotic sensitivity. Treatment with psychotropic medication should be individualised and adjusted during the course of the illness.
Anti-NMDA receptor (NMDAr) encephalitis is the most common autoimmune encephalitis in adults. It mimics psychiatric disorders so often that most patients are initially referred to a psychiatrist, and many are misdiagnosed. Without prompt and effective treatment, patients are likely to suffer a protracted course with significant residual disability, or death. This study focuses on the frequency and chronology of salient clinical features in adults with anti-NMDAr encephalitis who are likely to be first evaluated by a psychiatrist because their presentation suggests a primary psychiatric disorder.
A systematic search of PubMed and EMBASE databases identified published reports of anti-NMDAr encephalitis associated with prominent behavioral or psychiatric symptoms. After eliminating redundancies, the frequencies and relative timing of clinical features were tabulated. Signs and symptoms were assigned temporal ranks based on the timing of their first appearance relative to the first appearance of other signs and symptoms in each patient; median ranks were used to compare temporal sequencing of both individual features and major symptom domains.
Two hundred thirty unique cases (185 female) met study inclusion criteria. The most common features were seizures (60.4%), disorientation/confusion (42.6%), orofacial dyskinesias (39.1%), and mutism/staring (37.4%). Seizures, fever, and cognitive dysfunction were often the earliest features to emerge, but psychiatric features predominated and sequencing varied greatly between individuals.
Clinicians should consider anti-NMDAr encephalitis when new psychiatric symptoms are accompanied by a recent viral prodrome, seizures or unexplained fever, or when the quality of the psychiatric symptoms is unusual (e.g. non-verbal auditory hallucinations).
Central nervous system infections (CNSI) are a leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. Using ICD-10 data from 2005 to 2015 from three central hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, we exploited generalized additive mixed models (GAMM) to examine the spatial-temporal distribution and spatial and climatic risk factors of paediatric CNSI, excluding tuberculous meningitis, in this setting. From 2005 to 2015, there were 9469 cases of paediatric CNSI; 33% were ⩽1 year old at admission and were mainly diagnosed with presumed bacterial CNSI (BI) (79%), the remainder were >1 year old and mainly diagnosed with presumed non-bacterial CNSI (non-BI) (59%). The urban districts of HCMC in proximity to the hospitals as well as some outer districts had the highest incidences of BI and non-BI; BI incidence was higher in the dry season. Monthly BI incidence exhibited a significant decreasing trend over the study. Both BI and non-BI were significantly associated with lags in monthly average temperature, rainfall, and river water level. Our findings add new insights into this important group of infections in Vietnam, and highlight where resources for the prevention and control of paediatric CNSI should be allocated.
The past 30 years of research on human amnesia has yielded important changes in our understanding of the role of the medial temporal lobes (MTL) in memory. On the one hand, this body of evidence has highlighted that not all types of memory are impaired in patients with MTL lesions. On the other hand, this research has made apparent that the role of the MTL extends beyond the domain of long-term memory, to include working memory, perception, and future thinking. In this article, we review the discoveries and controversies that have characterized this literature and that set the stage for a new conceptualization of the role of the MTL in cognition. This shift toward a more nuanced understanding of MTL function has direct relevance for a range of clinical disorders in which the MTL is implicated, potentially shaping not only theoretical understanding but also clinical practice. (JINS, 2017, 23, 732–740)
Human rabies encephalitis is rare in Canada, with only five cases reported in the past 30 years. The first and only patient who contracted rabies encephalitis in British Columbia died in 2003. Here we provide the first detailed clinical and pathological description of that case, which had several unusual features, including preexisting immunosuppression, paralytic presentation, prolonged survival, focal lesions on neuroimaging and severe neuropathology with focal necrosis, intense inflammation, and abundant viral inclusion bodies.
Accurate data on the incidence of West Nile virus (WNV) disease are important for directing public health education and control activities. The objective of this project was to assess the underdiagnosis of WNV neuroinvasive disease through laboratory testing of patients with suspected viral meningitis or encephalitis at selected hospitals serving WNV-endemic regions in three states. Of the 279 patients with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens tested for WNV immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies, 258 (92%) were negative, 19 (7%) were positive, and two (1%) had equivocal results. Overall, 63% (12/19) of patients with WNV IgM-positive CSF had WNV IgM testing ordered by their attending physician. Seven (37%) cases would not have been identified as probable WNV infections without the further testing conducted through this project. These findings indicate that over a third of WNV infections in patients with clinically compatible neurological illness might be undiagnosed due to either lack of testing or inappropriate testing, leading to substantial underestimates of WNV neuroinvasive disease burden. Efforts should be made to educate healthcare providers and laboratorians about the local epidemiology of arboviral diseases and the optimal tests to be used in different clinical situations.
Natural bornavirus infections and their resulting diseases are largely restricted to horses and sheep in Central Europe. The disease also occurs naturally in cats, and can be induced experimentally in laboratory rodents and numerous other mammals. Borna disease virus-1 (BoDV-1), the cause of most cases of mammalian Borna disease, is a negative-stranded RNA virus that replicates within the nucleus of target cells. It causes severe, often lethal, encephalitis in susceptible species. Recent events, especially the discovery of numerous new species of bornaviruses in birds and a report of an acute, lethal bornaviral encephalitis in humans, apparently acquired from squirrels, have revived interest in this remarkable family of viruses. The clinical manifestations of the bornaviral diseases are highly variable. Thus, in addition to acute lethal encephalitis, they can cause persistent neurologic disease associated with diverse behavioral changes. They also cause a severe retinitis resulting in blindness. In this review, we discuss both the pathological lesions observed in mammalian bornaviral disease and the complex pathogenesis of the neurologic disease. Thus infected neurons may be destroyed by T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. They may die as a result of excessive inflammatory cytokine release from microglia. They may also die as a result of a ‘glutaminergic storm’ due to a failure of infected astrocytes to regulate brain glutamate levels.