OBJECTIVE: N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibody (NMDAR-Ab) encephalitis is a well-recognised clinico-immunological syndrome that presents with neuropsychiatric symptoms cognitive decline, movement disorder and seizures. This study reports the clinical features, management and neurological outcomes of paediatric NMDAR-Ab-mediated neurological disease in the UK.
DESIGN: A prospective surveillance study. Children with NMDAR-Ab-mediated neurological diseases were voluntarily reported to the British Neurological Surveillance Unit (BPNSU) from November 2010 to December 2011. Initial and follow-up questionnaires were sent out to physicians.
RESULTS: Thirty-one children fulfilled the criteria for the study. Eight presented during the study period giving an incidence of 0.85 per million children per year (95% CI 0.64 to 1.06); 23 cases were historical. Behavioural change and neuropsychiatric features were present in 90% of patients, and seizures and movement disorders both in 67%. Typical NMDAR-Ab encephalitis was reported in 24 children and partial phenotype without encephalopathy in seven, including predominantly psychiatric (four) and movement disorder (three). All patients received steroids, 22 (71%) received intravenous immunoglobulin, 9 (29%) received plasma exchange,and 10 (32%) received second-line immunotherapy. Of the 23 patients who were diagnosed early, 18 (78%) made a full recovery compared with only 1 of 8 (13%) of the late diagnosed patients (p=0.002, Fisher's exact test). Seven patients relapsed, with four needing additional second-line immunotherapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Paediatric NMDAR-Ab-mediated neurological disease appears to be similar to adult NMDAR-Ab encephalitis, but some presented with a partial phenotype. Early treatment was associated with a quick and often full recovery.
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- Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/diagnosis
- Child, Preschool
- Prospective Studies
- Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate/immunology
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- United Kingdom/epidemiology