Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis in Children and Adolescents.J Pediatr Health Care. 2016 Jul-Aug; 30(4):347-58.JP
Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis is an autoimmune disease that is becoming increasingly recognized in the pediatric population. It may be the most common cause of treatable autoimmune encephalitis. The majority of cases of anti-NMDAR encephalitis are idiopathic in etiology, but a significant minority can be attributed to a paraneoplastic origin. Children with anti-NMDAR encephalitis initially present with a prodrome of neuropsychiatric symptoms, often with orofacial dyskinesias followed by progressively worsening seizures, agitation, and spasticity, which may result in severe neurologic deficits and even death. Definitive diagnosis requires detection of NMDAR antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid. Optimal outcomes are associated with prompt removal of the tumor in paraneoplastic cases, as well as aggressive immunosuppressive therapy. Early detection is essential for increasing the chances for a good outcome. Close follow-up is required to screen for relapse and later onset tumor presentation. The nurse practitioner plays a major role in the research, screening, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, and rehabilitation of a child or adolescent with anti-NMDAR encephalitis.