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Autoimmune encephalitis in the elderly: who to test and what to test for
  1. Sophie Behrman1,
  2. Belinda Lennox2
  1. 1 Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sophie Behrman, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK; sophie.behrman{at}


The awareness and understanding of autoimmune encephalitis are blossoming in neurology, and patients are being diagnosed and successfully treated with immunotherapy. The diverse symptomatology associated with autoimmune encephalitis means that patients may present initially to mental health services, which are, as yet, less well equipped to identify and investigate such phenomena. Older adult mental health services are used to managing complexity, but the range of pathologies presenting with unusual symptoms that may mimic autoimmune encephalitis is wide and there is no clear guidance as to when and how to investigate for possible autoimmune encephalitis. This paper examines the evidence supporting investigation and management strategies for patients with possible autoimmune encephalitis presenting to older adult psychiatrists.

  • delirium & cognitive disorders
  • adult psychiatry

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  • Contributors SB and BL agreed the content and structure of the paper. SB drafted the text that was reviewed and revised by BL.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work.