Objective: Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis is a relatively newly identified form of autoimmune limbic encephalitis. Long-term memory deficits have been documented in adults; however, the literature regarding neuropsychological outcomes is limited for pediatric patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate memory functioning in pediatric patients following anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis diagnosis. Method We evaluated eight pediatric patients who ranged in age from six to 18 years (mean = 11 years; 5 = females, 3 = males). At the time of testing, they were between six and 30 months (mean = 15 months) from initial diagnosis. Patients were either Latino (n = 5) or African-American (n = 3). All children had received first-line treatments including corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, and plasmapheresis. Two had also received second-line treatments of Cytoxan and/or rituximab. Patients were administered the California Verbal Learning Test, Children's Version or Second Edition (CVLT-C/II) as part of a longer test battery used to screen neuropsychological functioning as part of their ongoing care in hospital-based ambulatory clinics. Results Scores indicated clinically significant concerns with verbal learning and memory. Specifically, problems were observed with overall learning across five repeated trials of a word list (mean T = 39.6) as well as with a recognition paradigm following a delay (mean z = −1.25). Conclusion Similar to adults, results suggest that pediatric patients with a history of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis may struggle with memory. Further research is needed to clarify the exact nature of these deficits, whether they vary depending on illness presentation or treatment, and whether they continue to persist as these children develop.
Verbal Memory Deficits in Children With Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Encephalitis
A Wilkinson-Smith, R Howarth, S McManus, B Greenberg, A Ayers, P Plumb, S Hughes; B-67
Verbal Memory Deficits in Children With Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Encephalitis. Arch Clin Neuropsychol 2015; 30 (6): 547. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acv047.162
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