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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 55 (2013) 2, 129 - 133

Case report

A man with sexual disinhibition caused by paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis

C.L. de Vries, H. Koers


A 63-year-old man with symptoms of depression and sexual disinhibition was admitted to a psychiatric clinic for the elderly. Because the man’s symptoms rapidly became more severe he was referred to the emergency room. There, his illness was diagnosed as paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis with positive anti-Hu antibodies; this is a paraneoplastic neurological syndrome presenting with short-term memory loss, epileptic seizures and psychiatric symptoms. For the prognosis of the illness it is essential that the syndrome is diagnosed as early as possible. Since patients sometimes present with mainly psychiatric symptoms it is important that psychiatrists are fully informed about the symptoms and are able to make an accurate diagnosis.

keywords limbic encephalitis, paraneoplastic neurological syndromes, small-cell lung carcinoma