Accurate recognition of movement disorder phenomenology may differentiate children with anti-N-methyl D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) encephalitis, autoimmune basal ganglia encephalitis (BGE), and Sydenham's chorea (SC). Three neurologists blinded to the diagnoses recorded dominant and associated movement disorders seen on videos of 31 patients with anti-NMDAR encephalitis (n = 10), BGE (n = 12), and SC (n = 9). Stereotypy was only seen in anti-NMDAR encephalitis (8/10) and not in BGE and SC (P < 0.001). Perseveration was only seen in anti-NMDAR encephalitis (5/10) and not in BGE and SC (P < 0.001). Akinesia was more commonly seen in BGE (5/12) than in anti-NMDAR encephalitis (1/10, P = 0.097). Tremor was more commonly seen in BGE (5/12) than in anti-NMDAR encephalitis (1/10, P = 0.097). Chorea was seen in all groups: anti-NMDAR encephalitis (4/10), BGE (3/12), and SC (9/9). Likewise, dystonia was seen in all groups: anti-NMDAR encephalitis (6/10), BGE (7/12), and SC (2/9). Stereotypies or perseveration are suggestive of anti-NMDAR encephalitis, whereas their absence and the presence of akinesia and tremor is more suggestive of BGE. Chorea and dystonia are least discriminating.
Keywords: NMDAR; autoimmune; basal ganglia; encephalitis; movement.
© 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.