Autoimmune encephalitis: new hammers in the toolbox

Updated guidelines for the diagnosis and acute treatment of autoimmune encephalitis

Recently, the field of autoimmune neurology has been expanding and evolving at a brisk pace. There has been renewed interest in the field, especially with the discovery that many rapidly progressive dementias, cryptogenic refractory seizures and movement disorders are autoimmune in aetiology. Excitement has grown with the recognition that numerous novel neural autoantibodies identified over the past decade and a half are associated with highly treatable autoimmune encephalitides, where patients have demonstrated good outcomes, particularly if diagnosed and treated early. This provides great hope for patients, families and practitioners alike and is in stark contrast with many of the now ‘classic’ paraneoplastic neurological disorders associated with intracellularly targeted antibodies, such as anti-Hu/antineuronal nuclear antibody type 1 (ANNA-1) or anti-Yo/Purkinje cell cytoplasmic antibody type 1 (PCA-1), which are well known to be poorly responsive to treatment, often leaving patients with…

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