interesting reads

Antibody-Mediated Autoimmune Encephalitis in Childhood.

Brenton JN, Goodkin HP (2016)
Pediatr Neurol. 2016 Jul;60:13-23

The differential diagnosis of encephalitis in childhood is vast, and evaluation for an etiology is often unrevealing. Encephalitis by way of autoimmunity has long been suspected, as in cases of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis; however, researchers have only recently reported evidence of antibody-mediated immune dysregulation resulting in clinical encephalitis.
These pathologic autoantibodies, aimed at specific neuronal targets, can result in a broad spectrum of symptoms including psychosis, catatonia, behavioral changes, memory loss, autonomic dysregulation, seizures, and abnormal movements. Autoimmune encephalitis in childhood is often quite different from adult-onset autoimmune encephalitis in clinical presentation, frequency of tumor association, and ultimate prognosis. As many of the autoimmune encephalitides are sensitive to immunotherapy, prompt diagnosis and initiation of appropriate treatment are paramount.
Here we review the currently recognized antibody-mediated encephalitides of childhood and will provide a framework for diagnosis and treatment considerations.