Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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CASE REPORT
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 152-154

Catatonic syndrome in anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis


1 Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Neurological Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Starlin Vijay Mythri
812, 4E12, Mary Verghese Rehabilitation Campus, C/o Christian Medical College, Bagayam, Vellore - 632 002, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.178812

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Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis is a newly recognised autoimmune condition. With its typical clinical pattern, consistent association with the presence of auto antibodies and rapid improvement with immunotherapy, this condition is giving insights into the boundaries between psychiatry and other neurosciences, and is opening avenues for future research. In a young lady who presented with catatonia, we considered anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, after ruling out other aetiologies. After a positive antibody test we treated her with immunotherapy. She showed gradual improvement in her psychotic and catatonic symptoms. Knowledge regarding the nature and function of NMDA receptors and pathophysiology of this particular encephalitis is important for psychiatric practice. The great opportunity for research in this area due to its association with psychotic disorders is evident but an appeal to temper the enthusiasm by considering the historical lessons learnt from Karl Jaspers' critique of General Paresis of Insane, is in place. Catatonic syndrome has to be conceptualised broadly and should be recognised with a separate nosological position.


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