Managing severe behavioral symptoms of a patient with anti-NMDAR encephalitis: case report and findings in current literature

Manejo de sintomas comportamentais severos em um paciente com encefalite-anti-NMDAR: relato de caso e literatura atual

Vanina Lima Monteiro Felipe José Nascimento Barreto Paulo Marcos Brasil Rocha Paulo Henrique Teixeira do Prado Frederico Duarte Garcia Humberto Correa Maila Castro Lourenço das Neves About the authors


Psychiatric symptoms emerge in the early stages of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis, and patients often seek treatment in psychiatric departments before visiting any other general medical services. Numerous articles about anti-NMDAR encephalitis have been published in the scientific community worldwide, but few emphasize the role of psychiatry in symptom management.

Case description:

We describe the case of a patient with anti- -NMDAR encephalitis seen in our service and discuss the management of behavioral symptoms based on current scientific literature. High doses of atypical antipsychotics and benzodiazepines were used to control agitation, and trazodone was administered to treat insomnia.


Consultation-liaison psychiatry may help the healthcare team adjust the management of neuropsychiatric complications that might affect inpatients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis.

Anti-NMDAR encephalitis; consultation-liaison psychiatry; behavioral symptoms

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