Treatments for Autoimmune Encephalitis

AE is a severe condition, with an approximately six percent mortality rate. While rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment allows many patients to recover most or all functions, a significant percentage of patients have persistent symptoms that negatively impact their ability to function.

Treatments may include:

  • Removal of a teratoma (if present, a tumor made of many different types of tissues) that could be triggering the autoimmune response
  • Steroids to reduce immune response and inflammation
  • Plasmapheresis/plasma exchange to remove harmful antibodies from blood
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), which works in many different ways to increase removal of antibodies, inhibit binding of the harmful antibodies, and decrease the inflammatory response to antibodies

Immunosuppressant drugs may be used if these treatments fail to improve symptoms.