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Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2015 Mar;15(3):3. doi: 10.1007/s11910-015-0529-1.

Autoimmune encephalitis and its relation to infection.

Author information

1
Johns Hopkins Encephalitis Center, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Meyer 6-113, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD, 21287, USA, avenkat2@jhmi.edu.

Abstract

Encephalitis, an inflammatory condition of the brain that results in substantial morbidity and mortality, has numerous causes. Over the past decade, it has become increasingly recognized that autoimmune conditions contribute significantly to the spectrum of encephalitis causes. Clinical suspicion and early diagnosis of autoimmune etiologies are of particular importance due to the need for early institution of immune suppressive therapies to improve outcome. Emerging clinical observations suggest that the most commonly recognized cause of antibody-mediated autoimmune encephalitis, anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis, may in some cases be triggered by herpes virus infection. Other conditions such as Rasmussen's encephalitis (RE) and febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES) have also been posited to be autoimmune conditions triggered by infectious agents. This review focuses on emerging concepts in central nervous system autoimmunity and addresses clinical and mechanistic findings linking autoimmune encephalitis and infections. Particular consideration will be given to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and its relation to herpes simplex encephalitis.

PMID:
25637289
DOI:
10.1007/s11910-015-0529-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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