India`s first Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis case

A 13-year-old girl has been diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a rare disease, with doctors claiming it to be the first case of its kind in the country.

Updated: Jun 14, 2010, 19:46 PM IST

Kochi: A 13-year-old girl has been
diagnosed with Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a rare
disease, with doctors claiming it to be the first case of its
kind in the country.

The school girl was admitted to Lourdes Hospital on
January 21 with very severe epilepsy and behavioural changes.

Within two days, she slipped into a deep coma and
developed frequent seizures and was put on ventilator, Dr
Bobby Varkey Maramattom, senior consultant, neurology
department of the hospital, told reporters Monday.

The patient`s epileptic seizures were controlled only
after one-and-half-months of medication.

However, after two months, when her condition further
deteriorated, her blood samples were sent to Prof Angelia
Vincent, Prof of Neuro Immunology, Weatheral Institute of
Molecular Medicine John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, the UK.

Prof Vincent confirmed that the patient was suffering
from `Anti N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor encephalitis`
(ANMDARE) and that this was the first case from India,
Maramattom said.

This disease was first diagnosed in 2008, in a male
patient with tumour by Prof Joseph Dalmau of the Philadelphia
University in the US.

It especially affects females between the age of 6-30
years who have ovarian tumours and can result in acute
behavioural changes and severe epilepsy, leading to coma and
death if untreated, Dr Maramattom said.

It is also found in males or females without tumours and
the cause of the disease is not yet known.

As of now, tests to confirm the disease are done only at
Oxford and Philadelphia in the US, he said.

"After five months of treatment, the girl`s condition has
improved vastly and she can communicate and walk. Since the
past one month after the treatment, she has not had any
seizures," the doctor said, adding, "the child would have to
further undergo two months of treatment".

Dr Maramattom said he had presented a paper on the
disease in `Neurology India`.

PTI