Autoimmune limbic encephalitis

Clin Med (Lond). 2011 Oct;11(5):476-8. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.11-5-476.


Autoimmune limbic encephalitis is an increasingly recognised cause of cognitive decline and confusion. The typical presentation is with subacute cognitive decline, behavioural disturbance and seizures. Magnetic resonance imaging may show characteristic changes in the medial temporal regions. The diagnosis is confirmed by identification of elevated voltage-gated potassium channel antibody (VGKC-Ab) titres. It is a highly treatable condition, often responding well to intravenous immunoglobulin or steroids. Recognition of autoimmune limbic encephalitis is sometimes delayed--usually because the diagnosis has not been considered--which can result in long-term neurological consequences.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / immunology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Epilepsy, Tonic-Clonic / immunology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Limbic Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Limbic Encephalitis / immunology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated / immunology
  • Prognosis


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated