Autoimmune encephalopathy (AE) is inflammation of the brain caused by a malfunction in the immune system. The immune system attacks the brain and causes brain function impairments.
Although researchers still have a lot to learn about AE, it typically seems to be triggered by a few scenarios:
Many of the neuropsychiatric symptoms of autoimmune encephalopathy mirror other conditions, and they tend to ebb and flow, making AE challenging to diagnose. However, a trained neuropsychiatrist like Dr. Best is skilled in identifying and treating the disorder. Common symptoms of AE include:
Dr. Best starts with a simple blood test to determine whether the AE antibody is present. Even if these antibodies aren’t present, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have AE. Dr. Best may also perform an EEG to measure brain activity or an MRI to determine whether inflammation is present in the brain.
For the best outcome, treatment should be fast, early, and aggressive. The first line of treatment usually involves removing any related tumors, reducing inflammation with steroids, filtering antibodies from the blood, or IV treatments. Dr. Best may also prescribe medication to control the symptoms, such as anti-anxiety drugs or sleep aids.
If your condition doesn’t respond to those methods, Dr. Best may start a secondary line of treatment using immunosuppressive drugs. Some people encounter traumatic brain injury after an episode of AE, and Dr. Best has found impressive results with hyperbaric chamber treatments and perispinal etanercept injections (an anti-inflammatory) for recovery from traumatic brain injuries.
Early treatment is paramount in keeping the disease from progressing. If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms of AE, contact Dr. Best right away to begin treatment.
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