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theherd - THE HERD AE Awareness Month Events Announced

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Selected Highlighted News in the field of Autoimmune Encephalitis~ January 2024

AE Awareness Month Events Announced

In this Issue~


  • *Announcements:   AE Awareness Month Speakers Series, #BrainonFire Merchandise
  • *Virtual Art Show: How to Submit Your Art
  • Your Story is Noteworthy: How to Get Your Story in the News
  • *ABI Rehabilitation From AE: Faith, Hope, Love, and Bravery Adult Coloring Page, Jigsaw Puzzles with Original Art by AE Warriors
  • *Resilience: Create Your Version of a “Happy Jar”
  • *Spread Awareness and Love:  Create an AE Survival Kit for the One You Love, AE Warrior Candy Bars
  • *AE Trivia Cards:  The single most important educational/rehabilitation tool for AE
  • *Shop & Support IAES: Sign up for PayPal’s #GiveAtCheckOut, Subscribe to Mailing List


AE Awareness Month Speakers Series 

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Throughout February 2024, IAES will be hosting free webinars open to the public. Experts from around the globe will be speaking on key topics of the highest interest to our community. There will be a Q & A period after each presentation where attendees can ask questions. Register today to ensure your place. All presentations will be recorded and available on our YouTube channel within a few days of the presentations. 

AE Awareness Month Merchandise

#BrainOnFire is the theme for Autoimmune Encephalitis Awareness Month, February 2024. The Brain on Fire design names many of the most common symptoms experienced in Autoimmune Encephalitis and where in the brain that symptom is controlled.

T-shirts have a 2-sided design and may be ordered in a variety of styles including hoodies and long sleeve Tees. This design also comes with the IAES trademarked phrase, “AE Warrior”.  The design on the back of the shirt reads: Autoimmune Encephalitis (AE): is a type of brain inflammation where the body’s immune system attacks healthy brain cells.

Spread awareness for Autoimmune Encephalitis. These products may begin a conversation that could lead to saving a life. The proceeds of your purchase will immediately support autoimmune encephalitis patients, caregivers, and families who are walking this difficult journey, and research that may one day lead to a cure.

Virtual Art Show

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2024 is our 6th annual Virtual Art Show. Anyone can submit art and your art can take any form. The sky is the limit as to how you want to express yourself and share with others. There is no limit to how many pieces of art you can submit. 
Do you have a tattoo? (send in a picture). Do you have a hobby? Do you have a meaningful photograph? (it could be of a sunset, a place, a special memory, or one of you/your loved one fighting AE). Do you do adult coloring? Do you create cards? Draw, paint, sew? How about a poemA letter to your brain? The sky is the limit regarding what you submit for our virtual art show.
This is a way you can reach people all over the world and raise awareness of AE in a very special way. Do you have a pet who has helped you with your AE journey? Please send in a picture and tell us why they are important to you.
Submit your contribution by sending it to with
1. Your name and (age is optional)
2. Name of the art if it has one
3. What the art symbolizes or means to you
Deadline January 27-2024

Get Your Story in the News

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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 discussing 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

 ABI Rehabilitation From AE

 Faith, Hope, Love, and Bravery

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Adult Coloring Page

Adult coloring alleviates signs of stress and depression. 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.

Jigsaw Puzzles 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.

Happy Jar

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Here’s a wonderful idea for your family. Start the new year off with your version of a ‘Happy Jar’.

Because battling autoimmune encephalitis is such a huge challenge, it’s difficult for us to remember the positive things we experience. So, we wanted to share this idea with all of you as a way to help you through difficult times. You can create your own version modeled after this one and, of course, you can dip into the jar and randomly read notes throughout the year when you could use a lift.

Some IAES members have created ‘grateful jars’ filled with what you are grateful for. Parents, family, and friends can fill a jar with notes of encouragement, praise, and comments about accomplishments. Maybe you decide to make a ‘happy memories’ jar. Be creative. You may decide everyone in the family can add to the jar. Think about what you or your loved one would appreciate and create around that.

Create An AE Survival Kit For the One You Love

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IAES has 12 FREE variations of survival kit labels for you to download located on the ‘AE Warrior Gifts’ webpage under the ‘2-2024 Awareness Month’ tab. Go out and purchase the fun items listed on the label to enclose in your kit and have fun putting your surprise together. You will be using your cognitive and organizational skills as you do.
Your AE Warrior, Mom, Dad, caregiver, or medical professional (RNs, Doctors), is sure to be touched by the time and care you took in letting them know how much you mean to them!

Spread Sweet AE Awareness


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Spread AE Awareness By Using These Candy Bar Wrappers



Spread awareness during February with these #AEWarrior chocolate bar wrappers with inspirational messages your friends, family, co-workers, and fellow students will love.

  • 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.

AE Trivia Playing Cards

The perfect companion  for patients, caregivers & therapists


Doctor Recommended

Created by IAES and in collaboration with Josep Dalmau, M.D., Ph.D. (The World’s leading expert on AE).  This deck answers 52 of the most commonly asked questions about AE and doubles as a rehabilitation tool.  Increase your knowledge and become a strong advocate quickly and easily with AE trivia cards. 

We appreciate the National Organization of Rare Diseases’ (NORD) enthusiastic support in recommending this groundbreaking product. 

Shop & Support IAES Through PayPal’s 


Have you wanted to support IAES, Autoimmune Encephalitis awareness, and the AE Warrior that you love?

Here is an easy and affordable way to donate without feeling a thing when shopping with your Paypal account. Each time you check out you will be reminded of an opportunity to give $1 to IAES.

Simply go to your PayPal account and select “set favorite charity”, and choose International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society.  When you make a purchase and check out, an option comes up that asks if you would like to give $1 to IAES? 

Help create the positive change you envision for the AE Community by donating your change.

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Your generous Donations allow IAES to continue our important work and save lives!  Donations of any size are vitally important to meet the increased need in our community. If you can set up a recurring monthly donation, it will be greatly appreciated, and will immediately begin to help patients and families during this historic time.

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society is proud to be a platinum level participant on the Guide Star exchange, demonstrating or commitment to financial transparency.  IAES is a charitable non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Tax ID#81-3752344

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.

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society (IAES) is a Family/Patient centered organization that assists members from getting a diagnosis through to recovery and the many challenges experienced in their journey. 


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.

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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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