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OBJECTIVE: Limbic encephalitis (LE) associated with antibodies to the voltage-gated potassium channel complex (VGKC) is a potentially reversible cause of cognitive impairment. Despite the prominence of cognitive dysfunction in this syndrome, little is known about patients' neuropsychological profile at presentation or their long-term cognitive outcome. METHODS: We used a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery to evaluate cognitive function longitudinally in 19 patients with VGKC-LE. RESULTS: Before immunotherapy, the group had significant impairment of memory, processing speed and executive function, whereas language and perceptual organisation were intact. At follow-up, cognitive impairment was restricted to the memory domain, with processing speed and executive function having returned to the normal range. Residual memory function was predicted by the antibody titre at presentation. CONCLUSIONS: The results show that, despite broad cognitive dysfunction in the acute phase, patients with VGKC-LE often make a substantial recovery with immunotherapy but may be left with permanent anterograde amnesia.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/jnnp-2013-306724

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Publication Date

04/2014

Volume

85

Pages

387 - 391

Keywords

Amnesia, Cognition, Limbic System, Neuroimmunology, Neuropsychology, Amnesia, Anterograde, Antibodies, Female, Humans, Limbic Encephalitis, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated