Don’t Be Left Behind. Keep Up With THE HERD!
February 2023, 2nd edition
AE Awareness Month Events #BrainOnFire
In this Issue~
- *Announcements: AE Awareness Month Activities, Awareness Month Merchandise
- *Heroes & Dreamers AE Awareness Video 2023
- *Virtual Art Show
- *AE Awareness Month Speakers Series: Six webinars features a Star-studded lineup of illustrious Experts Present on Key Topics of Interest Throughout February. Free and Open to the Public. The first 3 videos are now available.
- *AE Infographic: In English, German, French & Spanish
- *Royal Registry Certificates
- *Survival Kits
- *ABI Rehabilitation From AE: I Can Do This coloring page
- *Your Story is Newsworthy: How to get your Story in the News
- *Raise Sweet Awareness: AE Warrior Candy bars
- *Well-Being Gratitude Journal
- *Studies/Trials: IGNITE Study, The ExTINGUISH Trial
- *AE Trivia Cards: The single most important educational/rehabilitation tool for AE
- *AE Warrior Store: Puzzle collection
- *Shop & Support IAES: Sign up for PayPal’s #GiveAtCheckOut and Amazon Smiles
Happy AE Awareness Month 2023!
AE Awareness Month Merchandise
#BrainOnFire is the 2023 theme for Autoimmune Encephalitis Awareness Month, February 2023.
This design was created by IAES founder, Tabitha Andrews Orth and is copyrighted by the International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society (IAES). The design names many of the most common symptoms experienced in Autoimmune Encephalitis and where in the brain that symptom is controlled. Spread awareness for Autoimmune Encephalitis.
The phrase, “Brain on Fire” references a best-selling book written by Susanah Cahalan who has given permission for IAES to use the phrase for this collection. These products may begin a conversation that could lead to saving a life.
To spread awareness during the month of February, use hashtags #BrainOnFire #AEawareMonth #BeAEaware on all your social media platforms.
The proceeds of your purchase support AE research and will have an immediate positive impact on patients, caregivers, and families who are fighting this rare brain disease.
Heroes & Dreamers ~AE Awareness Month Video
In celebration of Autoimmune Encephalitis Awareness Month 2023, IAES is pleased to present our 7th annual awareness video, ‘Heroes & Dreamers’. IAES holds the rights to the song, ‘Heroes and Dreamers’ by Pink Zebra.
We hope you enjoy this impactful film featuring AE Warriors (patients) and insights into their journeys. Welcome to our ‘AE Family’, the family you never knew you had.
To spread awareness throughout February, share ‘Heroes & Dreamers’ on your social media platforms using hashtags; #AEawareMonth #BeAEaware #Heroes&Dreamers #BrainOnFire #AutoimmuneEncephalitis #IAES.
Virtual Art Show
Get ready to be astounded when you tour IAES’ 5th Annual Virtual Art Show. AE patients and caregivers from all corners of the globe express themselves through a wide array of mediums. You will find yourself pausing in reflection as this display of artful expressions emotionally transport you.
We are thankful to all the artists participating in this year’s show. Expression through art is a powerful way to raise awareness of Autoimmune Encephalitis.
AE Awareness Month
Speakers Series 2023
If you were not able to attend this webinar live, here is the video. Dr. Spatola reviews the disease process from the prodromal stage to relapse/recovery and lasting deficits. The difference between intracellular and cell surface antibodies is explained and focus is given to the two most common types of AE, anti-NMDAr, and LGI1. Studies that have provided outcome expectations are reviewed along with the slow speed of recovery, relapse rates, and lasting deficits many patients experience. There is an excellent Question and Answer period at the end of the presentation. This video is also located on the IAES website under the ‘Library’ tab>IAES AE Videos.
Dr. Eoin Flanagan, Associate Professor of Neurology and Consultant in the departments of Neurology and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), gives an outstanding presentation on how autoimmune encephalitis is diagnosed and red flags clinicians can look for that may indicate another culprit is at play.
Whether you are a clinician treating this group of diseases or a patient/family member, you will have a greater understanding of how an AE diagnosis is arrived at. Patients must meet the criteria of ‘Possible Autoimmune Encephalitis’ as outlined in the gold standard paper, A Clinical Approach to Diagnosis of Autoimmune Encephalitis, as a starting point for further investigation. The focus is always to reach an accurate diagnosis, so the patient can be accurately treated and receive the best long-term outcome.
Dr. Flanagan’s clinical expertise and research are focused on the diagnosis and management of autoimmune neurological disorders with an emphasis on inflammatory autoimmune spinal cord disorders and their mimics including their MRI patterns.
IAES owes our debt of gratitude to Dr. Santoro, as he is making time while on sabbatical to be with us for this presentation. (An example of his passion and commitment to his patients). A MUST attend to any parent or colleague.
Dr. Santoro completed his undergraduate, masters, & medical degrees at Tulane University. He subsequently completed residencies in pediatrics and child neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine & subsequently had sub-specialty training in neuroimmunology & pediatric MS at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Santoro is a passionate clinician-scientist who has published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Santoro is one of only a handful of national clinician-scientists who treats neurologic disorders associated with Down syndrome. Clinical interests include Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM), Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorders, MOG Antibody Syndrome, Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, Optic Neuritis, Transverse Myelitis, Neurologic Disorders Associated with Down Syndrome, Bickerstaff’s Brainstem Encephalitis, GQ1b Antibody Mediated Disorders, Autoimmune Encephalitis, Hashimoto’s Encephalitis, and Down Syndrome Regression Disorder.
Dr. Claude Steriade is a neurologist in New York, NY, and is affiliated with NYU Langone Hospitals. Dr. Steriade has a specialty in Epilepsy and has had an interest in Autoimmune Epilepsy since her residency. She has fast become considered a top expert in that arena by her peers. She graduated from Geneva General Hospital/Marion Whelan School of Nursing in 2011. She received her medical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for 6 years. (with 11 years of experience in the medical field).
This 8 1/2 by 11 poster/flyer infographic comes in English, Spanish, French and German. Download them and post them at hospitals, Doctor’s offices, infusion centers, clinics, schools, places of worship or your work place to spread awareness.
Social media Facebook sizes in all four languages are located for your use here.
Royal IAES Registry Certificates for AE Warriors & Sentinels (Caregivers)
There’s no better way to show someone you care during AE Awareness month than to give them their own AE survival kit!
Share your love and encouragement by purchasing a survival kit label. Print your label and affix it to a colorful lunch bag. (Goodies not included). Collect required contents and use tissue paper or ribbon to create a festive presentation.
IAES has created 11 different variations of these kits that are bound to bring smiles of pleasure to those who receive them. Create a kit for your AE Warrior™, AE Mom, Doctor, Psychiatrist, Nurse, Infusion day, Child, or Caregiver. These kits are available year-round.
ABI Rehabilitation From AE
I Can Do This
Adult Coloring Page
Adult coloring alleviates signs of stress and depression for patients working on rehabilitation and caregivers who can benefit from an exercise in stress relief. Coloring reduces stress by activating the brain’s right hemisphere. When we are stressed or worried, we activate the left side of our brain, which is responsible for analytical and cognitive processes, but when we color, we switch gears and access the right side of the brain, the creative, artistic region, which quiets the left part, allows creativity to take over and blocks out worries.
Like meditation, coloring promotes relaxation by focusing the brain on the present moment. When patients color, they engage in the ‘here and now’ and practice mindfulness, which can be a very meditative and relaxing process. Because they’re occupied with thoughts such as ‘what color do I use?’ and ‘how should I color this part?,’ their right brain can relax and give them a break from difficult thoughts about procedures, their diagnosis, pain, and the like. Art is a nonverbal way of processing all of these difficult feelings.
Get Your Story in the News
IAES has done the work for you. Download our press release and directions. Reporters can make use of the quotes from experts cited in the press release to enhance any article. Additionally, you can provide any writer with the contact information for the doctor who diagnosed you. Make sure you contact your doctor to confirm that they would be open to discuss your case with a reporter for a human interest or health story. Personal stories about AE patients and their journey are the best way to raise awareness broadly and on a much larger scale. It involves a few simple steps. Contact local and national newspapers as well as popular magazines such as People, Time and Newsweek.
Raise Sweet Awareness
Create A Fundraiser or Simply Raise Sweet AE Awareness Among Family and Friends During February
- Download: paper wrapper
- Wrapper: 5 9/16” x 5 3/8”
- Fits 1.55oz Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, 1.45oz Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bar, & 1.6oz Belgian Milk Chocolate Embossed Bar
- Candy not included
Purchase the candy bars. Download, print (for best results center image) and cut out the wrapper.
*Additional free gifts are offered on the AE Warrior Gifts page. Get inspired and start creating gifts for people on your holiday gift list.
The Well-Being Gratitude Journal
Utilize the journal by challenging yourself to a 21-day commitment described. Spend two minutes a day scanning the world for three new things you’re grateful for over a 21-day period. We instinctively scan our environment for threats. This powerful exercise trains your brain to scan the world in a new pattern of scanning for positives. It’s the fastest way to teach optimism.
We are all capable of learning new behaviors and changing our brain patterns. Research has shown that a person with a low-level of pessimism on day 1 of this 21-day exercise will admit to feeling a low-level of optimism by day 21. When dealing with a life challenge as overwhelming as AE, it is important to take care of your mental health, feel supported in your ability to manage the crisis and feel empowered and truly resilient.
The Journal has a left-hand margin width for a 3-hole punch, so it can be inserted into a notebook. Coloring has been shown through research to mitigate symptoms of physical and emotional distress and is a recommended rehabilitation activity for AE patients. Color in the cover design to personalize your journal while relaxing into a pleasant past time.
The IGNITE Study
Drs. Emmanuel Mignot and Sergio Muñiz-Castrillo and their research group at Stanford University in California have requested IAES’s help in recruiting autoimmune encephalitis patients for The IGNITE study. This study aims to investigate the genetic predisposition to autoimmune encephalitis and related disorders. Patients must have an identified antibody to participate. The patient may have an active case or be in remission. This exciting study includes patients of all ages and all antibodies. Patients outside of the United States will need the physician who diagnosed them, usually a neurologist, to contact Dr. Muñiz-Castrillo directly. No travel is involved. Saliva and blood kits will be sent to you in the mail and can be returned by mail or dropped off at named participating pharmacies.
Your participation will help uncover that answer and your act of advocacy will eventually enhance lives! The first step to take is to fill out and submit the screening survey below.
Seronegative/antibody-negative patients can play an active advocacy role by distributing the IGNITE study flyer to their diagnosing doctor, and asking that it be posted at the infusion center you use, as well as at hospitals and clinics you visit.
Sharing the flyer on your social media platforms will assist us in getting the highest level of participation possible.
This is the first-ever Clinical Trial for a promising new drug, Inebilizumab, to treat anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, and will be funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The trial will start recruitment in January 2022. International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is honored to be supporting the ExTINGUISH trial along with Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance and The anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis Foundation.
Main Inclusion Criteria (in part)
Enrollment is limited to 116 newly diagnosed patients with a confirmed diagnosis of anti-NMDAR Encephalitis who are 18 years or older. Patients must have received at least 3 days of methylprednisolone 1000 mg IV or equivalent corticosteroid within 30 days prior to randomization (Day 1). In addition, patients must have received EITHER of the following treatments within 30 days before randomization.
- IVIg, at a minimum dose of 2 g/kg
- Plasma exchange or plasmapheresis, with a minimum of 5 treatments. NOTE: These treatments may be provided during the screening period, but must be completed prior to randomization.
mRS of ≥3 at the screening visit, indicating at least moderate disability. Ability and willingness to attend study visits and complete the study.
AE Trivia Playing Cards
The perfect companion for patients, caregivers & therapists
We appreciate the National Organization of Rare Diseases’ (NORD) enthusiastic support in recommending this groundbreaking product.
AE Warrior Store
Puzzles Featuring Original Art by AE Warriors
Original art by autoimmune encephalitis patients makes these puzzles a unique gift, challenge & collectors item. Puzzles are a long-time group or individual past time. They are a highly recommended cognitive exercise for anyone with a brain injury or in recovery from illness. Puzzles assist with comprehension, organization, memory, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and provide goal setting, patience, and a sense of achievement.
Don’t forget to #GiveAtCheckOut if you purchase your gift through PayPal! (See: Shop and Support IAES Through PayPal’s #GiveAtCheckOut program below).
The proceeds of your purchase will immediately support Autoimmune Encephalitis patients, caregivers, and families who are walking this difficult journey. Proceeds also go to support research that may one day lead to a cure.
Shop & Support IAES Through PayPal’s
|Get that great deal online and support IAES at the same time!|
When you shop Amazon Smiles and select IAES as the non-profit you want to support, Amazon will donate .5% of our purchases to the International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society.
This simple act of kindness, will support the work we do and advance our ability to service the community. MakeMeSmile is an extension for Chrome that makes sure you select International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society when you shop online. It’s free to download. And you don’t even need to sign up.
Donations raised are greatly appreciated and directly support research, patients, caregivers, and families through their journey so the best outcomes can be reached. Your contribution to our mission will help save a life and improve the quality of lives for others. Be a part of the solution by supporting IAES.
Driven by the knowledge that “Education is Power”, Int’l AE Society manages an educational support group for patients diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis and their loved ones on Face Book, empowering them to be strong self-advocates and advocates that will lead them to best outcomes and recovery. We are the premiere organization leading in these vital roles.