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Autoimmune encephalitis in the elderly: who to test and what to test for

Abstract

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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