Autoimmune encephalitis: Epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical spectrum (part 2)


  • J Hiesgen Department of Neurology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
  • C M Schutte Department of Neurology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa



autoimmune, encephalitis


Autoimmune encephalitis (AE) represents a growing number of severe autoimmune-inflammatory diseases affecting both the white and grey matter of the brain. In part 1 of this series we focused on the epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical presentation of this condition, with two illustrative cases. In this part, we will introduce the clinical criteria for AE, particularly for the diagnosis of anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis, which were developed to facilitate immune treatment in suspected cases before antibody results are available. We subsequently discuss the work up, differential diagnosis and treatment options for patients with this disease.



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How to Cite

Hiesgen J, Schutte CM. Autoimmune encephalitis: Epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical spectrum (part 2). S Afr Med J [Internet]. 2023 Apr. 4 [cited 2024 Jun. 15];113(4). Available from: