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An emerging problem in clinical practice: how to approach acute psychosis

Author(s): Sofia Markoula | Dimitrios Chatzistefanidis | Spyridon Konitsiotis | Athanassios P. Kyritsis

Journal: Clinics and Practice
ISSN 2039-7275

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: e7;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: encephalitis | psychosis | Limbic system.

Limbic encephalitis (LE) is rare, presents with memory impairment, seizures and behavioral disorder. We present a 44-year-old female with an agitation-depressive disorder associated with delusions and hallucinations, admitted to our hospital with the diagnosis of psychosis. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the brain and lumbar puncture on admission were normal. Because of clinical deterioration and addition of seizures in the clinical picture, further workup with serum and repeat cerebrospinal fluid studies, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electroencephalogram disclosed a lesion in the left medial temporal lobe consistent with LE. The patient was treated symptomatically with antidepressive, antipsychotic and anticonvulsant drugs. Aggressive diagnostic tests for the presence of an occult cancer were negative. An 8-year follow up has not revealed a tumor to support a paraneoplasmatic origin of LE. This case, initially diagnosed and treated as psychosis, is a case of non-paraneoplasmatic, non-infective LE, probably caused by an autoimmune mechanism.
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