Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis presenting as postpartum psychosis-a clinical description and review

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Aug;21(4):465-469. doi: 10.1007/s00737-018-0816-3. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (anti-NMDAR) encephalitis is increasingly being recognised to be associated with protean neuropsychiatric manifestations. Anti-NMDAR encephalitis is considered to be the most common amongst the autoimmune-mediated encephalitic disorders. It is caused by the autoantibodies against GluN1 subunits of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and manifests with prominent psychiatric symptoms, especially during the initial phase of illness. Literature anti-NMDAR encephalitis presenting with postpartum psychosis is scant. In this report, we present a 28-year-old lady with postpartum psychosis as presenting manifestation of anti-NMDAR encephalitis and discuss the neuropsychiatric manifestations of this emerging entity.

Keywords: Autoimmune encephalitis; NMDA receptor; NMDAR; Postpartum; Psychosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Anti-N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis / drug therapy
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Catatonia / etiology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Postpartum Period*
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / immunology
  • Seizures / etiology*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use


  • Autoantibodies
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate
  • Steroids