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Autoimmune encephalitis: clinical spectrum and management

Associate Editor of Practical Neurology, Dr Tom Hughes, Department of Neurology, Cardiff, interviews Prof Sarosh R Irani, Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Oxford University, about his recent paper, in which he summarised the well-known autoantibody-mediated encephalitis syndromes with neuronal cell-surface antigens and focus on practical aspects of their diagnosis and treatment, offer their clinical experiences of managing such cases and highlight more basic neuroimmunological advances that will inform their future diagnosis and treatments.
Read the paper on the Practical Neurology website ( and the October print issue of the journal.

Evaluations in First Episode Psychosis

In the first segment, Dr. Gregg Day speaks with Dr. Josep Dalmau about NMDAR antibodies in patients with first episode psychosis and the utility of criteria for autoimmune psychosis.

Autoimmune Encephalitis and Rare Neuro-immune Disorders

The goal of our “Ask the Expert” podcast series is to share the latest research and information on rare neuroimmune disorders and provide an avenue for individuals diagnosed with these disorders and their family members to ask questions to experts who specialize in these disorders

#23 Autoimmune and paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis

Autoimmune encephalitis may now be as common as infectious encephalitis. In this week’s program, we revisit an episode from 2016 where Dr. Ramani Balu (neurocritical care) shares his experience in evaluating and managing patients with these conditions.

Overview of AE

Angela Vincent, emeritus professor of neuroimmunology at the University of Oxford, gives Adam Zeman, professor of cognitive and behavioural neurology, University of Exeter, an overview of autoimmune disorders of the central nervous system.

Emerging Subspecialties in Neurology

Dr. Lara Marcuse interviews Kenneth Kearins and his wife Patricia Kennedy about the topic of autoimmune encephalitis with antibodies to LGI-1. The participants had nothing to disclose except Dr. Addington. Dr. Addington serves on the editorial team for the Neurology® Resident and Fellow Section.


Encephalitis :  “brain”, composed of ἐν, en, “in” and κεφαλή, kephalé, “head”, and the medical suffix -itis “inflammation”) is an acute inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis with meningitis is known as meningoencephalitis. Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion, drowsiness, and fatigue. More advanced and serious symptoms include seizures or convulsions, tremors, hallucinations, and memory problems.

Totally Cerebral: Untangling the Mystery of Memory

How has our understanding of the mysterious tissue between our ears changed in the past 50 years? In her Totally Cerebral episodes on Transistor, neuroscientis, Wendy Suzuki introduces us to scientists who have uncovered some of the deepest secrets about how our brains make us who we are.

Understanding AE

4th Segment: Dr. Stacy Clardy interviews Dr. Josep Dalmau about the topic of autoimmune and paraneoplastic encephalitis and how recent discoveries have changed our understanding of these disorders.

Cognitive impairment & neuromyelitis

In the first interview, from the January 16, 2018 episode, Dr. Jeff Burns speaks with Dr. Ronald Petersen about the recent AAN practice guideline paper on mild cognitive impairment

Oliver Sacks on 'The man who mistook his wife for a hat'

 Listen to Dr Sacks himself and hear his thoughts on understanding patients, how writing has influenced his clinical approach, and changes in neurology in the past few decades.

Autoimmune Encephalitis

The key to treating encephalitis is early detection and treatment. A child with encephalitis requires immediate hospitalization and close monitoring. Sometimes, depending on what doctors think the specific cause of the encephalitis is, certain medications can be used to fight infections that may cause it.

In this podcast, Dr. Stuart Tomko, MD, Washington University pediatric neurologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, discusses Autoimmune Encephalitis and when to refer to a specialist.

Antibody mediated AE

Autoimmune and paraneoplastic encephalitides encompass a wide spectrum of immunologic phenomena that affect the nervous system. In this episode, which focuses on limbic encephalitis, Dr. Ramani Balu outlines his experience with these unusual conditions.


Encephalopathy means disorder or disease of the brain. In modern usage, encephalopathy does not refer to a single disease, but rather to a syndrome of global brain dysfunction; this syndrome can have many different organic and inorganic causes.

Eye of a Storm

Dr. Eyal Muscal and Jeff Bekos
This is a disease that can seem to show symptoms in an instant – and last in the body for weeks, months, years. AE can be missed,
misdiagnosed – and forever change lives. Learn from Dr. Muscal, a pediatric rheumatologist and Jeff Bekos – a parent who, along with
his wife and son continues to live through his daughter Hailey’s diagnosis of years ago.

The Inflamed Brain

BBC health reporter James Gallagher explores the increasing body of evidence that a dysfunctional immune system is responsible for the depression or psychotic illness experienced by hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people in the UK. James talks to the psychiatrists investigating this new understanding of mental illness and to people who may benefit from treatments aimed at the immune systems rather than their brain cells.

James also talks to New York journalist Susannah Cahalan. She began to experience paranoid delusions and florid hallucinations when her immune system made damaging antibodies against part of the molecular circuitry in her brain. Treatment to eliminate the antibodies prevented her committal to psychiatric hospital. Psychiatrist Professor Belinda Lennox at the University of Oxford says she has evidence that a significant proportion of people presenting for the first time with psychotic symptoms are victims of a similar autoimmune problem.

My descent into madness- a conversation with author Susannah Cahalan

When you talk to Susannah Cahalan on the phone, you’d never imagine that this is a woman who has been to hell and back. Without warning 5 years ago, she descended into a nightmare of paranoia, hallucinations, catatonia and near death. One moment she’s a journalist living the high wire life in the New York media world and the next, her brain is swimming in a world of severe mental illness without any diagnosis.

Luckily, she did eventually find clinical clarity. The diagnosis: anti-NMDAr autoimmune encephalitis-  a disease only discovered in 2007.

Treatment of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), October 2017 with Dr. Adoni & Dr. Levy

In this episode, Dr. Luca Bartolini speaks with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) experts Dr. Tarso Adoni and Dr. Michael Levy. They discuss the results of a recent Practice Current (a section of Neurology® Clinical Practice) survey regarding NMO treatment, and share their thoughts on best practices.

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.




Autoimmune Encephalitis Trivia Playing Cards

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