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Case Report Open Access
Background: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis is a relatively newly identified autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder that predominantly affects children and young adults. Although psychiatric symptoms are highly prevalent and frequently severe, it has mainly been reported in neurological, but not psychiatric, literature. Understanding this form of encephalitis, its quick diagnosis and which treatment to provide are of utmost importance for consultation-liaison (C-L) psychiatrists. The aim of this paper was to describe a case of anti-NMDAR encephalitis with severe psychiatric manifestations, who showed impressive recovery but required intensive involvement of the C-L psychiatry team. We emphasise the behavioural aspects, psychiatric symptoms and challenges faced by the CL consultant across the different phases of the treatment.
Methods: We report the different treatment phases for a young woman with anti-NMDAR encephalitis who developed severe neuropsychiatric symptoms, with a focus on the role and challenges faced by the C-L psychiatrist. The literature is reviewed for each of these challenges.
Results: This case illustrated that even extremely severely affected patients may show impressive recovery, but require long lasting psychiatric care. C-L psychiatrists are faced with numerous challenges where only little literature is available.
Conclusion: C-L psychiatrists play a pivotal role throughout the multidisciplinary care of patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis and should be informed about this entity.
Autoimmune, Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, Encephalitis, Organic psychosis, Rehabilitation, psychosis, Autoimmune disease