Noticias HC

Autoimmune encephalitides

brain TopView ‘‘Autoimmune Neurology’’ comprises a growing field that embraces a group of neurological diseases with an immune pathogenesis, meaning that our immune system erroneously attacks our own nervous system. These disorders are mainly characterized by the presence of antibodies targeting neuronal or glial antigens, which are used as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic biomarkers.


Autoimmune encephalitides constitute the main subset of these disorders, and they have gained great interest over the last years due to major advances in the understanding of its underlying mechanisms. Although autoimmune encephalitides are considered rare disorders, their incidence has experienced a significant increase over the last years likely due to the identification of new diagnostic autoantibodies and to the higher awareness of the disease among neurologists.


Autoimmune encephalitides affect patients of all ages and represents a great burden to patients, families, and society, as they may lead to severe sequelae. The clinical spectrum varies according to the associated antibody, but mainly includes psychiatric symptoms, seizures, memory impairment, movement disorders, sleep disorders.


The diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitides is frequently a challenge for most neurologist due to its heterogeneous clinical presentation, and identification of neural antibodies by complex techniques that are only available in very few research centers. Then, the treatment is mainly based on immunotherapies to control the abnormal response of the immune system against our own cells.


Dr. Nicolas Lundahl Ciano


In HC International, Dr. Nicolás Lundahl Ciano Petersen has a large clinical and research experience in Autoimmune Neurology. He did a Fellowship about these disorders in the French Reference Center of Paraneoplastic Neurological Disorders and Autoimmune Encephalitis of Lyon (France), and runs the “Neuroglial Antibody Laboratory” in the Research Institute of Biomedicine in Málaga (Spain).


encefalitis autoinmune


Rat brain tissue indirect immunofluorescence showing the typical staining of anti-NMDAR antibodies in the hippocampus. The presence of these antibodies provides greater certainty to the differential diagnosis of encephalitis.


Picture obtained from: Ciano-Petersen, N.L.; Cabezudo-García, P.; Muñiz-Castrillo, S.; Honnorat, J.; Serrano-Castro, P.J.; Oliver-Martos, B. Current Status of Biomarkers in Anti-N-Methyl- D-Aspartate Receptor Encephalitis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 13127. 222313127



February 22, 2023




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