What is it about?
The patient presented with psychiatric symptoms and no other somatic issues eight days after COVID 19 positiv PCR test. MRI was normal and the laboratory work-up was nearly normal. The standard autoimmune encephalitis tests (Euroimmun) were also normal. FDG PET showed high uptake in striatum. In the figure, you can see the autonomic deregulation that developed which included desaturations and blood pressure fluctuations. We stained mouse brain tissue which revealed a clear immunoreactivity against a target in the striatum, perhaps targeting spiny neurons? We demonstrate a reduction in autoantibodies in CSF after plasmapheresis.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Why is it important?
We think this case is extremely important because it could easily been missed and gone untreated. We are now just starting to recognise malignant catatonia as potential autoimmune encephalitis but historically these cases have not received immunotherapy and developed chronic conditions. We do not recognise the staining pattern and suggest that this could be a novel form of limbic encephalitis.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Autoimmune Encephalitis Presenting With Malignant Catatonia in a 40-Year-Old Male Patient With COVID-19, American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2021, American Psychiatric Association, DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2020.20081236.
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