Evaluation and Management of Autoimmune Encephalitis: A Clinical Overview for the Practicing Child Psychiatrist

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2018 Jan;27(1):37-52. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2017.08.011. Epub 2017 Oct 20.


Medical conditions that present with psychiatric symptoms are becoming increasingly well-recognized in response to the emergence of the field of neuroimmunology. As the availability of testing for novel antineuronal antibodies has increased, so too has the clinical awareness of this diagnostic spectrum. Psychiatrists may have little exposure to this area of expertise, yet may be called on to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with complex neuropsychiatric syndromes secondary to autoimmune encephalitis. This article summarizes the evaluation and management of patients with autoimmune encephalitis and describes emerging patterns in phenotype recognition.

Keywords: Anti-NMDA; Antineuronal antibodies; Autoimmune brain disorders; Autoimmune encephalitis; Limbic encephalitis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies
  • Child
  • Child Psychiatry
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Management*
  • Encephalitis / diagnosis*
  • Hashimoto Disease / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders* / immunology
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*


  • Autoantibodies

Supplementary concepts

  • Hashimoto's encephalitis