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Susannah Cahalan on Anti-NMDA Encephalitis and Her Journey to Diagnosis

In this episode, Dr. Nath is joined by journalist and New York Times bestselling author, Susannah Cahalan. Susannah recounts her journey as one of the earliest individuals to be diagnosed with anti-NMDA encephalitis and speaks about writing her memoir Brain on Fire. Dr. Nath is then joined by Dr. Josep Dalmau, professor at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the University of Barcelona and adjunct professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Dalmau shares how he and his colleagues discovered anti-NMDA encephalitis and the future of treatment options for patients.

Evaluations in First Episode Psychosis

In the first segment, Dr. Gregg Day speaks with Dr. Josep Dalmau about NMDAR antibodies in patients with first episode psychosis and the utility of criteria for autoimmune psychosis.

Can antibodies cause schizophrenia? 1st time psychosis

Oxford scientist Belinda Lennox is finding antibodies targeting certain types of nerve cells in some patients. Discusses the importance of screening patients presenting with the first experience of psychosis, to see whether they test positive for antibodies in autoimmune encephalitis.

“We found in our initial 47 patients, that 3 patients were positive for these antibodies so, just over 6%”.

Clinical specificities of adult male patients with NMDA receptor antibodies encephalitis

 First Segment. 9 minutes. Clinical specificities of patients with NMDA receptor antibodies. encephalitis

Long-term Neuropsychological Outcome Following Pediatric Anti-NMDAR Encephalitis

 In the first segment, Dr. David Lapides talks with Dr. Maarten Titulaer about his paper on long-term neuropsychological outcome following pediatric anti-NMDAR encephalitis.

How do you treat anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis?

10 minute podcast. Dr. Lara Marcuse interviews Dr. Luca Bartolini about his Neurology: Clinical Practice paper on how you treat anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.  

Case of anti-NMDAr presented in the ER

Dr. David Carr presents a case of anti-NMDAr encephalitis.  A potentially life-threatening diagnoses that may be perceived as a “zebra”, but actually has a higher incidence then we might think – and if diagnosed early, can significantly effect patient outcomes. 

Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a diagnosis that was only discovered in 2005, and has only recently been recognized by the Emergency Medicine community.  Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis may mimic a first presentation of schizophrenia or Neuraleptic Malignant Syndrome.  It may present with seizure, altered mental status, autonomic instability or movement disorder in the absence of drug exposure. When you are faced with any of these presentations and no other diagnosis seems to fit, do an LP and send the CSF for anti-NMDA receptor antibodies. The time-sensitive treatment is IVIG and steroids.  Anti-NMDA receptor Encephalitis is a must know diagnosis for all emergency medicine practitioners.

Prolonged non-convulsive status epilepticus in anti-NMDAR encephalitis with ovarian teratoma

In the second segment Dr. Alex Menze interviews Dr. Nick Johnson about his paper on non-convulsive status epilepticus. 8 minutes.

Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor

2 1/2 minute presentation. 

Our website is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice. Nothing contained on our website is intended to be used as medical advice. No content is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Although THE INTERNATIONAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY  provides a great deal of information about AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS, all content is provided for informational purposes only. The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society  cannot provide medical advice.


International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Tabitha Andrews Orth, Gene Desotell and Anji Hogan-Fesler. Tax ID# 81-3752344. Donations raised directly supports research, patients, families and caregivers impacted by autoimmune encephalitis and to educating healthcare communities around the world. Financial statement will be made available upon request.

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