Hashimoto's Encephalopathy and Seizure Disorders

Front Neurol. 2019 May 8;10:440. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00440. eCollection 2019.


Hashimoto's encephalopathy (HE) is a rare, clinically heterogeneous condition associated with positive thyroid autoantibodies. It is increasingly recognized as an important and treatable cause of autoimmune encephalopathy. Thyroid-associated antibodies such as thyroperoxidase (TPO) antibody, thyroglobulin (TG) antibody, and thyrotropin receptor (TR) antibody were found in HE patients with seizure disorders. Although antithyroid antibodies are required for the diagnosis of HE, their role in the pathogenesis of HE remains uncertain. Instead of playing a key role in the pathophysiology processes of HE, it is suggested that thyroid-associated antibodies are hallmarks of HE. Seizure disorders were found in approximately two-thirds of HE patients, and common anticonvulsant therapy alone is usually ineffective. Some patients did not respond to any antiepileptic drugs. The use of immunotherapy can effectively control seizure disorders. Electroencephalography and imaging findings are not specific to HE patients and can also be seen in other causes of encephalopathies. However, the prognosis in the majority of patients with HE was usually good if it is diagnosed and treated correctly.

Keywords: Hashimoto's encephalopathy; autoimmune encephalopathy; diagnosis; immunotherapy; seizure.

Publication types

  • Review