Stricken with seizures, psychosis and memory loss, a young New York Post reporter visits doctor after doctor in search of an elusive diagnosis.

  Approx. 9:30 Min

UK Interview with Susannah Cahalan who was diagnosed with a brain disorder called Autoimmune Encephalitis (AE)…7th Feb 2013

After reading the book a while back, I decided to watch the movie.  It’s a heart-wrenching story of another patient that almost got lost in the cracks and was misdiagnosed from everything from bipolar disorder to alcohol withdrawal.  It’s also another example of how a true physical problem can present like mental illness.

For more on this topic:  The Mayo Clinic’s new study, published in February in the journal Annals of Neurology, suggests that cases of autoimmune encephalitis aren’t nearly as rare as researchers once believed. By drawing on data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a medical records database in Olmsted County, Minnesota, the researchers were able to estimate that roughly 1 million people across the globe had autoimmune encephalitis at some point in their life. Each year, roughly 90,000 people may develop AE, they estimated.  “No prior studies evaluated this,” Eoin Flanagan, the lead author on the paper and an autoimmune neurology specialist at the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement.  Kelley, who is working on his own forthcoming study of the frequency of AE in young people, said his work echoes Flanagan’s findings.  “You can’t diagnose something you don’t know about, or that you don’t recognize,” Kelley told Business Insider.

In children, infections like strep throat appear to be a trigger of AE.  Susan Schulman, a pediatrician in New York, told Business Insider last year that she had seen hundreds of cases of a related condition, called PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome), in her patients. Her first case, in 1998, was a five-year old girl from Brooklyn who flew into a panic about keeping special holiday clothes separate from her regular clothes.  “She was driving her mother crazy,” Schulman said last year. At first, she believed the girl had childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder, but medication made the child’s symptoms worse. She later returned to Schulman’s office with a nasty case of strep throat and strangely, after Schulman treated the strep with antibiotics, the OCD symptoms vanished.

The reason we need to be aware of this issue is Lyme/MSIDS can also be a trigger:

%d bloggers like this: