Unusual amnesia in a patient with VGKC-Ab limbic encephalitis: a case study

Cortex. 2011 Apr;47(4):451-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2010.01.009. Epub 2010 Feb 17.


We describe the case of a patient with confirmed voltage-gated potassium channel antibody-associated encephalitis (VGKC-Ab). MRI studies revealed bilateral hyper-intensity in the hippocampi, with their volumes preserved. At presentation, the patient's anterograde and retrograde memory skills were found to be impaired and he showed fluctuation in his ability to recall familiar information. Following treatment with immunotherapy, his condition improved considerably and, in a series of follow up assessments, he performed satisfactorily (i.e., within the average range or above) on formal tests of memory, as well as on a range of other cognitive tests, including tests of executive function. By contrast, in the context of contemporaneous unstructured interviews, he showed a strong tendency to confabulate. We argue that the reported case broadens the phenomenology of VGKC-Ab limbic encephalitis and raises important theoretical questions about the aetiology of this patient's most unusual memory disorder.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amnesia / etiology
  • Amnesia / immunology*
  • Autoantibodies / adverse effects*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Confusion / etiology
  • Confusion / immunology
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Limbic Encephalitis / complications
  • Limbic Encephalitis / immunology*
  • Limbic Encephalitis / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated