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theherd - THE HERD July 2022 1st edition

Don’t Be Left Behind. Keep Up With THE HERD!

Supportive assistance guide for your AE Journey~

July 2022 1st Edition

In this Issue~


  • *Announcements:  Caregiver Monthly Zoom Support Group, #AETuesdayTries, LGI1 Research Survey, The ExTINGUISH Trial
  • *Children’s Corner (for all ages): Find Your Way, Immune Characteristics of Children with Autoimmune Encephalitis and the Correlation with a Short-Term Prognosis
  • *ABI Rehabilitation: Working on Visual Attention with Monument Valley, AE Caregiver Word Search 
  • *Helpful Tips for the AE Warrior:  Book Recommendations: Unwillable, In a Blurr
  • *Most Popular Visuals: AE Treatment Outcomes, Autoimmune Encephalitis Facts
  • *Featured AE Article: Autoimmune Encephalitis Patient Pays it Forward So No Other Patient Would be Alone
  • *Podcast: Seizure First Aid
  • *Clinician’s Corner: Seronegative Autoimmune Encephalitis: A Challenge for the Neurologist
  • *Open Access: Influential Factors, Treatment and Prognosis of Autoimmune Encephalitis Patients with Poor Response to Short-Term First-Line Treatment
  •   *AE Trivia Cards:  The Single Most Important Educational/Rehabilitation Tool for AE 
  • *AE Warrior Store:  Shop for Your AE Bling and Raise Awareness 
  • *Shop & Support IAES: Sign up for PayPal’s #GiveAtCheckOut and Amazon Smiles

Announcements ~

Caregiver Monthly Zoom Support Group

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The next monthly meeting will take place July 14th at 6 pm PST/9 pm EST. The IAES Caregiver Support Group takes place the 2nd Thursday of each month. This is a ‘safe space’ where caregivers can build relationships/friendships with others who are “walking that walk”, share/vent and receive the support and direction they so richly deserve.

AE Caregivers have a variety of unique challenges that are different from the AE Warrior’s. Often they feel alone and need to be able to share their concerns with others who are on that same journey. Sometimes hearing a chorus of ‘Me Too!’ can have great healing power of its own. Additionally, some of you may qualify for services you are unaware of that could assist or solve a challenge you (or your loved one) are having. As topics are discussed, your hostess, Mari Davis, will direct you to available solutions, services and supports.

Your Hostess, IAES Support Services Coordinator Mari Wagner Davis, has 30 years of experience as an accredited Nurse Case Manager. Mari’s professional career prior to becoming ill with Autoimmune Encephalitis, was to locate and arrange for the support services needed for patients when released from the hospital to rehabilitation or home.


The next monthly #AETuesdayTries zoom meet-up will take place July 26th, and will always be the last Tuesday of each month.

“Tuesday Tries” addresses the emotional support and rehabilitation AE patients and caregivers require in recovering from autoimmune encephalitis by building your resilience. The program utilizes science-based exercises from the work of PERMA; Seligman, 2012.

IAES wants to foster your capacity in the belief that better days are ahead! “Tuesday Tries” is about practicing a strengths-based approach by “normalizing the try;” celebrating critical milestones in the recovery and care of AE patients and caregivers in order to build a more resilient network of care.

A workbook organizer, “Growing Your Resilience” has been created to accompany the #AETuesdayTries program and is located on the ‘Apps and Tools for AE Warriors’ page in the section: ‘Building Your Resilience’ on the IAES website under the ‘For Patients’ tab. A link to download the organizer is also provided within your e-mail confirmation when you register.

Join AE patients and caregivers of all ages and stages in their AE journey.  Receive insights and encouragement from others and celebrate your critical milestones in recovery and care while  building a more resilient personal AE network!

Your facilitator, Tessa McKenzie, IAES’ Chief Resilience Officer, is a life coach and studies “resilience” through her private practice, Envisage Vocation Creation and work with Johns Hopkins University’s Life Design Lab. Join Tessa and other AE patients and caregivers who are ready to “Share Your Try Tuesdays”. Tessa will provide prompts for the reframe of perceived failures as well as peer-to-peer validation of “wins” and opportunities for relationship building.

LGI1 Research Survey

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If you live in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain or Germany, please enroll!


A Pharma company wants to understand what the journey of an Anti-LGI1 Autoimmune Encephalitis patient is like and needs your help!

The research has two parts: an online survey and a one-hour telephone interview.  It addresses both patients and/or carers and you will be financially reimbursed for your time.

This is a GOLDEN opportunity for you to assist a Pharma company interested in developing new treatments for LGI1 patients directly. It is vital that they understand our AE journey and struggle! YOUR input will drive future progress for yourself and patients who will receive this diagnosis in the future. You can be a catalyst for change!


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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.

Children’s Corner

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Find Your Way

Engage your child’s Attention and Working Memory Skills using This Mini Hybrid Packet. Find Your Way takes on a new face, or should we say bill with this packet. This exercise primarily exercises your child’s Attention Skills.

Immune Characteristics of children with Autoimmune Encephalitis and the Correlation with a short-term prognosis

A total of 33 children with autoimmune encephalitis were identified through the clinic database and inpatient consults at Tianjin Children’s Hospital from January 2013 to January 2021. Based on the one-year follow-up and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) prognosis score, they were divided into a good prognosis group and a poor prognosis group.


The differences in abnormal mental disorders and limb dyskinesia, cognitive impairment, onset types, modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores at admission, and immune function status during remission between the two groups were statistically significant (p < 0.05).


There is a close correlation between modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores and the immune function index CD4/CD8 in children with autoimmune encephalitis (AE) when they are admitted to the hospital. A young age, disturbance of consciousness, limb dyskinesia, abnormal immune function in remission and anti-NMDAR encephalitis are risk factors for poor prognoses in children with autoimmune encephalitis (AE). Clinical treatment requires more attention.

ABI Rehabilitation From AE

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Working on Visual Attention with Monument Valley

Visual attention refers to the cognitive processes we use to detect abnormalities or find things in our visual environment. Visual attention allows us to detect threats, such as a car coming if we are trying to cross a street, in order for us to respond quickly by getting out of the way. We may also use visual attention to find things, such as looking for a car in a busy parking lot or looking for a specific brand of salad dressing at the grocery store. Visual attention utilizes our executive functioning, working memory, and visual recognition skills to distinguish between different objects.

AE patients can perform cognitive exercises to help them learn strategies that may improve their visual attention abilities. For example, people may perform exercises where they must find a certain object or figure in a picture like in “Where’s Waldo ?”, or detect similarities and differences between two or more objects. Exercises like these challenge a person to separate objects or figures from each other and the background in order to find desirable or undesirable objects or differences needed to solve a problem.

Challenge yourself and build your visual processing skills with Monument Valley. In Monument Valley you will manipulate impossible architecture and guide a silent princess through a stunningly beautiful world.

Just Keep Swimming Journal Cover

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Keeping a daily journal for symptoms, or a personal diary is very helpful on your AE journey. IAES has created 5 journal covers that we think will touch an emotional cord with our community. They can be personalized by coloring in the cover page, which is a wonderful rehabilitation exercise for people recovering from AE in itself.
The covers are custom made to fit a common composition notebook. You can print them out on label paper to affix them to the cover of your notebook or use a glue stick.
Visit our website’s rehabilitation cognitive exercise page (near the bottom of the page) to see our offered design choices.  This one features Dory, who never gave up in the face of her short-term memory loss. During her adventure, she makes friends that become her family. Just as you have made friends with IAES members and we have become your ‘AE Family’.

Helpful Tips for Patients & Families

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Book Recommendations: In a Blurr 

IAES member Kertisha Brabson has written this book detailing her experience with Autoimmune Encephalitis. 

Out of nowhere, a beautiful and healthy mother of two falls very sick from a mysterious illness. One that leaves healthcare professionals from several different hospitals scratching their heads, and with her family and community in shock. This mysterious and deadly illness progressed rapidly, causing 29 year old Kertisha to slip into a coma for seven months; leaving her children behind to witness the tragedy of their mother. Kertisha’s family was told to prepare for the worst, but Kertisha wasn’t ready to leave the world and her family wasn’t ready to let her go.

“In A Blurr,” takes you on a journey of Kertisha’s life as she battles this ugly illness and shows how she and her family were able to experience sunshine after seven months of cloudy days.



IAES member, and now author, Jackie M Stebbins, released her first book regarding her AE journey to great acclaim on June 1st. We are proud to support Jackie, to further AE awareness and to celebrate a very happy ending! Jackie’s book can be purchased on Amazon.
If you haven’t purchased a Father’s Day gift yet for that AE Warrior Dad of yours, put Unwillable at the top of your gift list!

Most Popular Visuals

AE Treatment Outcomes

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Autoimmune Encephalitis Facts

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Featured AE Article

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Autoimmune Encephalitis Patient Pays it Forward So No Other Patient Would be Alone

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IAES President and founder, Tabitha Orth, has been honored with the Points of Light award! She is the 7,315th recipient to receive this esteemed honor since its inception in 1993. Tabitha & IAES would like to thank Points of Light for this honor. It is our fondest hope that others suffering from autoimmune encephalitis have a less traumatic journey through the services IAES provides.

President George H.W. Bush, founder of Points of Light, said “The solution to each problem that confronts us begins with an individual who steps forward and who says, ‘I can help.’” President Bush founded the award in 1990 and formally recognized more than 1,000 volunteers as “points of light” during his administration.

President Bush saw the challenges facing the world as far-reaching and complex, and the solutions often felt out of reach. To tackle society’s greatest challenges and build a better future, he felt we must engage a wide range of people to make a positive difference in the world.

The Daily Points of Light Award honors individuals who change the world. Millions of people act on their power to do good every day, using their hearts, hands and minds to help strengthen communities and solve persistent problems. On June 16th, Tabitha Orth, President and Founder of International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society officially became the 7,315th “point of light”.



Seizure First Aid

Autoimmune Encephalitis

Seizure first aid is critically important because of just how often seizures occur. One is statistically more likely to witness a seizure than a heart attack. Yet, most people have no idea what to do. There are multiple types of seizures, but here’s a short but good overview of what the CDC says to do to help someone who is having a seizure. Podcast includes article.

Clinician’s Corner

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Seronegative Autoimmune Encephalitis: A Challenge for the Neurologist

[What is new] Patients with suspected autoimmune encephalitis and negative antibody assays are a common dilemma in Neurological practice. Antibody Prevalence in Epilepsy and Encephalopathy Score [APE2] and Response to Immunotherapy in Epilepsy and Encephalopathy Scores [RITE2] enhance the value of early case detection and treatment to prevent neurological sequel.

[What is old] Immunological studies in autoimmune neurological diseases may be negative despite characteristic clinical findings thus delaying diagnosis and treatment.

Seronegative autoimmune encephalitis is a term coined for patients who present with the triad of cognitive disturbances, seizures, and behavioral abnormalities but continue to evade antibody detection in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. The occurrence of seronegative autoimmune encephalitis is 48% despite the availability of the latest panel of antibody assays. The dilemma arises when patients, who present with the typical clinical and imaging findings of autoimmune encephalitis persist with negative antibody results. This case illustrates the importance of suspecting and treating seronegative IgLON5 disease with typical clinical features and life-threatening complications.

Open Access

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Influential Factors, Treatment and Prognosis of Autoimmune Encephalitis Patients with Poor Response to Short-Term First-Line Treatment


Of the 128 patients who were treated with first-line immunotherapy, 59 (46.1%) were non-responders. Patients in the non-response group had more symptoms and exhibited a higher proportion of mental behavior disorder, central hypoventilation, and autonomic nervous dysfunction. The modified Rankin scale (mRS) scores and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) levels were significantly higher and albumin, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), apolipoprotein A (apoA) levels were significantly lower in the non-response group (p < 0.05, all). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the number of clinical symptoms, mental behavior disorder, central hypoventilation, maximum mRS score, and albumin level was independently associated with non-response to short-term first-line treatment. Non-responders had poor long-term outcomes compared with the responders at all times of followed-up (p < 0.05, all). In multivariable analysis, initial first-line treatment response was independently associated with the long-term prognosis, both at 12-month [odds ratio (OR), 4.74, 95% CI, 1.44–15.59, and p=0.010] and 24-month follow-ups (OR, 8.81, 95% CI, 1.65–47.16; and p = 0.011). Among the non-responders, a higher improvement of mRS scores was observed in those who received second-line treatment than those who had no further treatment or repetition of first-line immunotherapy in the follow-up. However, the rate of a good outcome and median mRS scores were not significantly different among the three groups.


Disease severity, clinical features, anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor subtypes, antibody titers, NLR, albumin, HDL-C, and apoA levels were all associated with non-response to short-term first-line treatment. The short-term first-line treatment response is a valuable predictor of long-term outcomes in patients with AE. Second-line immunotherapy may be a more aggressive treatment option for patients who failed short-term first-line immunotherapy.

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. 

AE Warrior Store

Shop for Your AE Bling and Raise Awareness

AE Warrior Store products proclaim the bravery and fighting spirit it takes to fight AE and regain your health. Shirts, hoodies, hats, puzzles, mugs and gift items make this your one stop shop for patients, caregivers and friends who have a vested interest in raising awareness for Autoimmune Encephalitis.  Designs can be transferred to any product you prefer. The proceeds of your purchase will immediately support Autoimmune Encephalitis patients, caregivers, and families who are walking this difficult journey.

IAES holds the trademark for #AEWarrior, AE Warrior and Autoimmune Encephalitis Warrior and is the creator of these phrases. Proceeds also go to support research that may one day lead to a cure.

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 


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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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.

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Are YOU an IAES angel? Do you love someone with AE? Do you want to raise AE awareness to not just support AE Warriors but lead researchers to finding a cure?  The IAES Angel is someone who lifted IAES upward by ensuring that comfort, guidance and improved health is brought into an AE patient’s life.

IAES Angels are motivated by their Spirit of giving.  They are Champions in raising AE awareness. Your devotion to supporting our mission and improving the lives of those who suffer from AE is felt mightily and immediately put to use. 

When you become an #IAESANGEL, International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society will send you this badge and profile frame to place on your Facebook page or Website.  As badges ‘take flight’ heralding IAES has been ‘touched by an angel’, others will take notice and they too may find their wings. Together, we will create a future where AE is eradicated from this world and only referenced in medical history books.

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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.

Tabitha Orth

On June 16th- 2022, International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society and Tabitha Orth, IAES President and Founder, officially became the 7,315th “point of light”. The award was founded by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

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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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