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ignite study

The IGNITE Study

Immunogenetics in immune-mediated encephalitis

The IGNITE Study
Immunogenetics in immune-mediated encephalitis

Recruitment is now open!

Have you ever wondered whether patients diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis (AE)

may have a genetic predisposition to AE?


A few months ago, we were contacted by a research group from Stanford University in California who is investigating this question. They have now obtained all the necessary approvals to begin recruiting patients in the USA, known as IGNITE.  Below you will find all the information you will need to find out if you are eligible to participate, and what is required from you.

​We encourage you to participate if you meet the eligibility criteria, as attaining large sample sizes is key to genetic studies.

This study aims to investigate the genetic predisposition to autoimmune encephalitis and related disorders.  Eligible patients must have an identified antibody, can be of any age, and can have active disease or be in remission. Patients outside of the United States will need the physician who diagnosed them, usually a neurologist, to contact Dr. Muñiz-Castrillo directly.

We are grateful to Dr. Emmanuel Mignot and Dr. Sergio Muñiz-Castrillo of the Stanford Centre for Sleep Sciences and Medicine and their team for undertaking this important investigation.

Eligible Autoimmune Encephalitis Patients will have an identified antibody, may be of any age, and can be in remission or have active disease. 

Autoimmune encephalitis and related disorders comprise a group of diseases in which the immune system abnormally reacts against the brain or other parts of our nervous system.  The cause of autoimmune encephalitis is unknown but it is possible that a genetic predisposition exists.

IGNITE-saliva sample
Saliva samples will be used to obtain DNA,
where our genetic information is contained.


Patients will be sent these two kits in the mail. No travel is required. Kits can be returned via mail or handed to participating local pharmacies in the U.S.A.

IGNITE-blood sample
Blood samples will be used to isolate
the cells from the immune system.

Participate and create positive change for future AE patients:

For patients in the U.S.A. to participate, please scan the QR code or begin here by completing the screening survey. You will have to complete a survey and upload your medical notes attesting to your diagnosis, including the antibody detection in serum and/or CSF. For patients and physicians outside of the U.S.A., contact IAES Medical Advisor & Liasion Dr. Daria Muir via e-mail here.  

A member of the IGNITE team will get back to you regarding whether or not you meet the eligibility criteria. If eligible, you will be sent an Informed Consent to be signed electronically, as well as an online questionnaire (10 minutes), and kits for a saliva sample and blood sample.

ignite-QR code

For patients and physicians outside of the U.S.A.,

Contact IAES Medical Advisor & Liasion Dr. Daria Muir who will inform you about other procedures that will allow you to participate.

For complaints, concerns, or participants’ rights, contact 1-866-680-2906.

Physicians and patients are encouraged to download the IGNITE Study flyer

to post and distribute. Such advocacy will enhance awareness of the study and garner the largest pool of participants possible for the highest level of success. 

Download IGNITE Study Flyer


We invite you to spread awareness of this important study on your social media platforms. Copy and paste (or save) these visuals and include the link to this page. This advocacy act will help the Stanford researchers answer the question: Is there a genetic predisposition to Autoimmune Encephalitis?

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IGNITE Study-a-Twitter
IGNITE Study-b-Instagram

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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