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Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the difference between ‘encephalitis’ and ‘encephalopathy’? Are they the same thing?




Encephalitis and encephalopathy are two similar but different terminologies (in reality, the medical literature often may interchangeably use these two terms…)

  • Encephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain parenchyma and is associated with neurologic dysfunction (e.g. – altered mental status, confusion, disorientation, behavioral changes). The cause of the encephalitis can be infectious (e.g. – bacterial/viral) or non-infectious (e.g. – autoimmune).


Encephalopathy also refers to neurologic dysfunction, however, it can be with or without inflammation of brain tissue.

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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