Anti-NMDAR antibodies in new-onset psychosis. Positive results in an HIV-infected patient

  • Arboleya S
  • Clemente A
  • Deng S
 et al. 
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The role of neuronal surface autoantibodies (NSAs) in non-encephalitic psychosis is of recent and controversial interest. Most of the studies relating NSAs with psychosis are retrospective and only focused on the N-methyl-. d-aspartate glutamate receptor (NMDAR). Our goal was to evaluate the prevalence of IgG antibodies against the NMDAR NR1 subunit (NMDAR-Abs) along with five additional NSAs in 61 first psychotic episode patients and 47 matched controls. We found two patients positive for NMDAR-Abs (3.3%). One of them was eventually considered to have been misdiagnosed and reclassified as encephalitis. The other met the criteria for bipolar I disorder, presented no neurological symptoms and had a comorbid HIV infection of vertical transmission. This is the first reported case of an HIV-infected patient with psychosis associated with NSAs. This study shows that patients presenting with clinically incomplete forms of anti-NMDAR encephalitis, with predominant or isolated psychiatric symptoms, can remain undetected if no ancillary tests are performed.To improve patient diagnosis and treatment of individuals with a first psychotic episode, more detailed neurological examinations might be needed. Further studies are required to better clarify the role of NSAs in the neuropsychiatric effects of HIV infection.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Autoimmunity
  • Encephalitis
  • HIV
  • Mania
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

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