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THE HERD May 2019 ~ 1st ed

image 6 1 - THE HERD May 2019 ~ 1st ed


Selected Highlighted News in the field of Autoimmune Encephalitis May 1st edition

Most popular article of the Month: NMDAR-Antibody Encephalitis: A new clinical way to identify patients Most listened to/Shared Podcast of the MonthAutoimmune Encephalitis, Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Stuart Tomko Most Popular IAES Handout: What is Autoimmune Encephalitis? Profile Frame for you FaceBook PictureRaise awareness globally and easily, Most Shared Article of the MonthOld doc, new disease: Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, Dr Casey Parker reflects on an intriguing presentation that made him ask: What else do I not know? Clinician’s Corner: Immunoneuropsychiatry — novel perspectives on brain disorders Open Access: Episodic ataxia in CASPR2 autoimmunity FUNDRAISER: AE Zebra Brooch IAES Membership Program

Most popular article of the Month:

NMDAR-Antibody Encephalitis: A new clinical way to identify patients

The study found that patients with NMDAR-antibody encephalitis presented with a complex co-existing mix of mental state changes, most commonly a combination of mood, psychosis, behavioral, sleep and catatonia which are best described by mixing traditional psychiatric diagnoses. This pattern became more stable when focusing on the cases that had the most detailed descriptions, emphasizing the need for professionals to be detailed and clear when describing and reporting mental states.

These observations should encourage the accurate detection of this form of autoimmune encephalitis and differentiate it from other serious mental-health illnesses. In addition, also by contrast to primary psychiatric illnesses, NMDAR-antibody encephalitis often occurs over days and patients typically have seizures and a distinctive movement disorder. Taken together, this set of observations aims to identify this group of immune therapy-sensitive patients from within unselected psychiatric presentations.

Most Shared Podcast:  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.

Most Popular IAES Handout of the Month: What is Autoimmune Encephalitis? (all printable handouts are found on the Living with AE page of our website) 

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Let the world know about Autoimmune Encephalitis and where they can find help and information by using this profile frame.  Your participation helps us spread awareness and directs people to the information they need. 

Old doc, new disease: Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis

Dr Casey Parker reflects on an intriguing presentation that made him ask: What else do I not know?

 The story begins:”It turns out Paul’s mother was right.The first time I saw him, Paul seemed to have a post-viral malaise. A head cold that lingered, a low mood and lethargy.His second visit two weeks later, however, left me confused. Paul seemed odd. Mumbling, disorganized and suspicious. I was concerned. This looked like an emerging psychosis, but there was nothing firm enough upon which to act.Paul’s mum was also worried. She could sense that something was seriously awry in her son’s mind. So I did another examination, which also proved fruitless.Paul seemed completely normal in many ways, but not in others. He had been doing his engineering exams a just month ago, but he was now struggling to do simple maths.”

Clinician’s Corner

Immunoneuropsychiatry — novel perspectives on brain disorders

Abstract’s Key points

  • At the interface of neurological and psychiatric disorders, immune processes are major factors in CNS health and disease; the immune system contributes to CNS homeostasis, resilience and brain reserve.
  • Although a certain level of neuroimmune interplay is required for optimal brain functioning, chronic inflammation and latent infections can cause higher-order network disturbances, resulting in cognitive and behavioural impairment.
  • Psychosocial stress correlates with inflammatory processes in the CNS.
  • Immune dysregulation plays a role not only in classical autoimmune brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis and autoimmune encephalitis but also in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder and depression.
  • Immune treatments are emerging as therapeutic options for subgroups of patients with brain disorders that are associated with an inflammatory phenotype.
  • New diagnostic and therapeutic criteria are required to translate immunopathogenic findings into individualized treatment options for patients with neuropsychiatric disorders.

Episodic ataxia in CASPR2 autoimmunity

by: Mayo Clinic Researchers: A.Sebastian López Chiriboga, Sean Pittock

A 64-year-old man developed cognitive dysfunction and generalized seizures, followed by episodes of transient speech and gait disturbances lasting several minutes, occurring multiple times per day; the events were not associated with any triggers. Neurologic examination during one of his episodic symptoms (video 1) showed transient ataxic dysarthria. Testing for neural autoantibodies revealed evidence of voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibodies by radioimmunoprecipitation assay; CASPR2-IgG was positive in serum and CSF by cell-based assay. Brain MRI was normal; CSF analysis showed an elevated protein level at 101 mg/dL, but it was otherwise normal. Oncologic evaluation was negative. The cognitive symptoms improved; seizures and episodic ataxia resolved after 12 weeks of treatment with IV methylprednisolone. Episodic ataxia is a manifestation of CASPR2 autoimmunity;1 patients can have normal MRI, and immunotherapy is beneficial.

Artist, Julia King, has created this brooch from her original artwork of her ‘excited zebra’.  Each order placed will result in a $5 donation to IAES in support of our mission. 

International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society has just launched a Membership Program:  

You can now become a card carrying Member of IAES and support our mission through a membership pledge.  A stunning membership card has been artfully designed for each category. There are 5 distinct membership categories: Basic, Sustaining, Leadership Circle, Gold and Life Time. Additionally, IAES will be sending a small thank you gift that has been specifically chosen for each category, as a token of our appreciation for your pledge of support

Your donations are greatly appreciated. Every dollar raised allows us to raise awareness and personally help Patients, Families and Caregivers through their Journey with AE so that best outcomes may 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”, International Autoimmune Encephalitis Society manages an educational support group for patients diagnosed with Autoimmune Encephalitis and their loved ones, 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.  Raising awareness of Autoimmune Encephalitis across the many specialties of medicine that come in contact with these disorders and with the general public to ensure a timely and accurate diagnosis resulting in an aggressive treatment plan for best outcomes.

“Empowering victims of Autoimmune Encephalitis and their caregivers through Support and Education”.

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