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Frequently Asked Questions 


When is Tocilizumab used to treat Autoimmune Encephalitis?



Sometimes patients do not respond to Rituxan/Rituximab. This resistance to response is call ‘refractory’ to the treatment.

Tocilizumab is an available alternative treatments.  Tocilizumab interrupts the inflammatory effects of a molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6). Normally, when IL-6 binds to its receptors on immune
cells, it causes B cells to multiply and mature into antibody-producing cells, and causes proinflammatory T cells to mature. The antibody drug tocilizumab targets the IL-6 receptor and prevents these inflammatory processes. A molecule related to IL-6, IL-2, is also a target. Instead of inhibiting this molecule, giving patients low doses of IL-2 activates a “good” type of T
cell called regulatory T cells that help the body shut down autoimmune responses.


Recommended study for further information:

Tocilizumab in Autoimmune Encephalitis Refractory to Rituximab: An Institutional Cohort Study


Shin, Y.-W. et al. Treatment strategies for autoimmune encephalitis. Ther. Adv.
Neurol. Disord. 11, 1–19 (2018).




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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