Josep Dalmau, MD, PhD, discusses rare autoimmune disorder, anti-NMDAR, encephalitis

June 12, 2009

Chattanooga Times

Joseph Dalmau, MD, PhD, professor in the division of Neuro-Oncology, is quoted in a Chattanooga Times article on a autoimmune disorder, which he has named anti-N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor, or anti-NMDAR, encephalitis. The name signifies the type of receptor in the brain under attack by the immune system. "The disease was essentially unknown before 2005," said Dalmau. "It's amazing how much more we know in a couple of years." Dalmau explains that in the past, the rigidity of afflicted patients' muscles and grinding of the teeth led to misdiagnosis of rabies or tetanus. Personality changes were misdiagnosed as psychosis or drug abuse, and some patients ended up in mental hospitals. The total number of reported cases has increased from four in 2005 to a total of 250 cases to date... Read More

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