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28.10.2019 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2020 Open Access

Neurological Sciences 2/2020

Clinical characteristics and long-term follow-up of seven cases of anti-GABABR encephalitis in patients of Han Chinese descent

Neurological Sciences > Ausgabe 2/2020
Wei Zeng, Liming Cao, Jinou Zheng, Lu Yu
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To improve the diagnosis and treatment of anti-GABAB receptor (anti-GABABR) encephalitis and prevent misdiagnosis or non-diagnosis.


We retrospectively examined the chief clinical manifestations, auxiliary examination results, treatment strategies, treatment efficacy, and long-term follow-up results of seven consecutive patients with anti-GABABR encephalitis.


Epileptic seizures were the first symptom in 100% of the patients; 85.7% had memory deficit in the hospital, 42.8% had residual symptoms of cognitive impairment at discharge, and 28.6% had cognitive impairment at the end of follow-up; 71.4% of the patients had psychosis in the hospital, 57.1% had residual symptoms of psychosis at discharge, and 14.3% still had psychosis at the end of follow-up. However, the clinical symptoms (psychiatric disorders, cognitive decline) and signs (consciousness disturbance) at onset and after follow-up were not significantly different (P > 0.05). In 71.4% of the patients, anti-GABABR antibody serum levels were higher than those in the cerebrospinal fluid (especially in patients with lung cancer). Magnetic resonance imaging in 71.4% of patients indicated that the marginal lobe demonstrated encephalitis lesions. The average modified Rankin Scale score (2.0 ± 2.31) at follow-up was significantly better than that (3.86 ± 0.90) at the time of admission (P < 0.05).


The clinical characteristics of anti-GABABR encephalitis were refractory epilepsy, psychiatric disorders, and cognitive impairment. Multiple antiepileptic drugs are crucial for the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Clinicians should eliminate the possibility of small-cell lung cancer in patients with high anti-GABABR antibody levels. Early active immunotherapy is effective, and the long-term prognosis is good for patients without tumors.

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