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Rare case of Hashimoto’s encephalitis mimicking grief reaction
  1. Angeliki Giannopoulou1,
  2. Sajjad Ahmad2,
  3. Chandranath Sarkar3 and
  4. Atul Kalhan1
  1. 1 Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK
  2. 2 Department of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
  3. 3 General Internal Medicine, Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sajjad Ahmad, drsajjad618{at}


A 46-year-old woman was admitted with tonic-clonic seizures. She was noticed to be withdrawn and low in mood for few months. She had reduced level of consciousness with hyper-reflexia and myoclonus. Metabolic, vasculitic, autoimmune, paraneoplastic and septic screen were normal. Lumbar puncture showed raised protein in the cerebrospinal fluid but the cytology, bacterial and viral screens were negative. A CT of the head revealed global brain swelling consistent with encephalitis which was empirically treated with antibiotics and antiviral therapy. Despite this she continued to have altered sensorium. She had moderately raised titres of antithyroid peroxidise antibodies suggestive of an underlying diagnosis of Hashimoto’s encephalitis. She displayed a significant improvement in her cognitive functions with high-dose steroids which was further in keeping with this rare diagnosis.

  • endocrine system
  • thyroid disease
  • immunology
  • epilepsy and seizures

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  • Contributors AG: wrote case report and searched literature for discussion with references. SA: helped in writing and editing case report and discussion. Provided MRI images and took patient’s consent. CS: consultant physician responsible for this patient care and approved the final version. AK: critical analysis of the case and made necessary changes to the text and approved the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.