Treatment guidelines for newly-discovered form of encephalitis established
A study has shown that a recently discovered, difficult-to-diagnose form of encephalitis -- acute inflammation of the brain -- can be controlled most effectively if treatment is started within one month of symptom onset. A research team analyzed 565 cases of the condition, called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, and determined that if initial treatments fail, the best course of action is second-line therapy. The condition occurs most frequently in women and younger people (the average age is 19). Symptoms range from psychiatric symptoms, memory issues, speech disorders, seizures, involuntary movements, to decreased levels of consciousness and breathing. "Our study establishes the first treatment guidelines for NMDA-receptor encephalitis, based on data from a large group of patients, experience using different types of treatment, and extensive long-term follow-up," lead author Maarten Titulaer said.