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Frequently Asked Questions 


I have all the symptoms of AE does that mean I have AE?




No. AE mimics many different central nervous system diseases which have the same symptoms. The history surrounding what happened when you first began to show signs of illness, how your illness progressed, the symptoms that first appeared and how you are doing presently is information that provides clues for the doctor about what the cause of your illness could be and where to start their investigation (testing).  The doctor doesn’t check a mental box for each symptom or discount possible AE because the patient does not have all the symptoms. It’s all about tempo, the nuanced nature of each feature and their rate of change, that help the doctor diagnose the patient correctly. Each test the doctor runs allows them to rule out possibilities of what the cause could be and guides them in what to test for next. Possible culprits as to the cause are noted. These possibilities are referred to as differential diagnoses. A differential diagnosis is a disease that has the same symptoms and presentation and apply to your story and situation. This is usually a broad list of possibilities. As test results ‘rule out’ possible causes, the doctor narrows things down until they prove what the cause is.

Sometimes they are not sure and give a diagnosis of possible or probable AE. In cases like this, they treat as it if were AE.  This can be done safely because most diseases that it could be are treated with the same treatments. How the patient responds tells the doctor more.


Our website is not a substitute for independent professional medical advice. Nothing contained on our website is intended to be used as medical advice. No content is intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice. Although THE INTERNATIONAL AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY  provides a great deal of information about AUTOIMMUNE ENCEPHALITIS, all content is provided for informational purposes only. The International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society  cannot provide medical advice.

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Tabitha Andrews Orth, Gene Desotell and Anji Hogan-Fesler. Tax ID# 81-3752344. Donations raised directly supports research, patients, families and caregivers impacted by autoimmune encephalitis and to educating healthcare communities around the world. Financial statement will be made available upon request.

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