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Dr Pavan Pai

Mumbai: Rare Auto-Immune Encephalitis Successfully Treated at Wockhardt Hospitals

In a remarkable medical achievement, a team led by Dr. Pavan Pai, Consultant Interventional Neurologist at Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, effectively treated a 31-year-old woman suffering from a rare condition - Auto-Immune Encephalitis, initially misdiagnosed as a stroke. The patient, who experienced debilitating symptoms including right-side twisting movements, speech arrest, and imbalance, is now symptom-free and leading a normal life.

Nikita Kumari, a resident of Mira Road and a housewife, initially sought medical attention at Wockhardt Hospitals in July 2023, presenting complaints of right-side twisting movements of her hands. Despite previous consultations with various neurologists and a misdiagnosis of stroke, her condition persisted, eventually leading to facial and right upper limb focal seizures.

Upon examination by Dr. Pavan Pai and analysis of MRI results by Dr. Pradnya Shinde, Consultant Radiologist, Nikita was diagnosed with NMDA receptor autoimmune encephalitis, a rare condition triggered by antibodies attacking the brain and nerve cells. Dr. Pai explained that this condition, often mistaken for psychological issues such as depression, primarily affects younger patients aged 20-40 years, occurring in only one out of 1.5 million people annually.

Treatment for Nikita involved IV Immunoglobulin therapy and anticonvulsants, leading to a complete recovery. However, her journey took a challenging turn when she conceived in October 2023, resulting in a miscarriage and subsequent neurological symptoms in January 2024, including speech arrest and imbalance.

Following a repeat MRI and CSF analysis confirming NMDA antibody presence, Nikita was readmitted to Wockhardt Hospitals in January 2024. She underwent high-dose IV steroid treatment and received IV Rituximab to prevent relapse, guided by Dr. Pai's expertise. This case has gained recognition in Susannah Cahalan's autobiography, highlighting the significance of early diagnosis and treatment.

Expressing gratitude for her recovery, Nikita praised the dedicated medical team at Wockhardt Hospitals, acknowledging their unwavering support and holistic approach to her care. Her testimonial serves as a testament to the hospital's commitment to patient well-being, both physically and emotionally.

Nikita's journey underscores the importance of timely intervention and comprehensive care in combating rare neurological conditions, ensuring patients receive the best possible outcomes.

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