Misdiagnosis

"Dr. Dalmau points out that many autoimmune encephalopathy patients are misdiagnosed with psychiatric disorders by clinicians unfamiliar with autoimmune encephalopathy." [image]
“Dr. Dalmau points out that many autoimmune encephalopathy patients are misdiagnosed with psychiatric disorders by clinicians unfamiliar with autoimmune encephalopathy.”

Misdiagnosis in HE/SREAT is common due to the limited information about this serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

Dr. Josep Dalmau, one of the leading international authorities on autoimmune encephalopathy, co-authored an article that appeared in Psychiatric Times in March 2010 titled “Psychiatric Presentation of Autoimmune Encephalopathies.” Dr. Dalmau points out that many autoimmune encephalopathy patients (which includes HE/SREAT patients) are misdiagnosed with psychiatric disorders by clinicians unfamiliar with autoimmune encephalopathy.

“While a biological basis for numerous psychiatric illnesses has become increasingly appreciated, few mechanistic hypotheses have gripped psychiatric researchers as strongly as an autoimmune basis for behavioral abnormalities. Perhaps the most extreme example of autoimmune phenomena that result in psychiatric changes can be found in antibody-mediated limbic encephalitis. In these syndromes, autoantibodies interfere either directly or indirectly with neuronal function, the outcome of which is striking cognitive and behavioral changes often accompanied by severe neurological symptoms …”

Kayser, M. S., & Dalmau, J. (2010). Psychiatric presentations of autoimmune encephalopathies an autoimmune basis for behavioral abnormalities. Psychiatric Times, 27(3).

– Dr. Josep Dalmau

HESA highly recommends this article to those would like to know more about neuropscyhiatric manifestations in HE/SREAT patients. The full text of the article about this common misdiagnosis can be found on the Psychiatric Times website. Note: Dr. Dalmau will be featured as keynote speaker at HESA’s April 6, 2019 symposium: “Autoimmune Encephalitis: A Bridge Between Neurology and Psychiatry,” at Weill Cornell Medical School, Cornell University, New York, New York. 

Last edited by Web Team on September 14, 2018