Anti NMDA Encephalitis (Brain on Fire) – Clinical Symptoms and Management

Posted on: April 22, 2020
Last Updated: November 21, 2021

Dr Sanil Rege takes you through the clinical symptoms and treatment of Anti-NMDA encephalitis.

This relatively newly discovered condition (2007) was highlighted in the book and subsequent movie called ‘Brain on Fire’.

Anti-NMDAR encephalitis should be suspected in any individual, usually younger than 50 years and especially a child or a teenager, who develops a rapid change of behaviour or psychosis, abnormal postures or movements (mostly orofacial and limb dyskinesias), seizures, and variable signs of autonomic instability, hypoventilation, or both.
The video covers the main clinical course, red flags and treatment principles.

  • The condition is also closely associated with ovarian teratomas in 50% of cases.
  • If detected and diagnosed correctly, the long-term prognosis is good, but increased dissemination of knowledge about the disorder is required for improved accuracy and rapidity of treatment.
  • It is also important to recognise that there are currently 16 known disorders with IgG autoantibodies against cell surface or synaptic proteins. Anti-NMDAR encephalitis is one of those 16 disorders.

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