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AAN 2023 | Contributors to the increase in autoimmune encephalitis misdiagnosis

Alfonso Sebastian Lopez, MD, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, discusses the increase in misdiagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis and the various reasons behind it. Awareness of this condition has grown, leading to a fear among neurologists of missing a potentially treatable disorder. In some cases, autoimmune encephalitis is seen as a default diagnosis when other explanations are unclear, which can be problematic. Dr Lopez emphasizes the importance of correctly applying diagnostic criteria and interpreting non-specific autoantibodies to avoid misdiagnosis. Conditions that can mimic autoimmune encephalitis include primary psychiatric problems, functional neurological disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. Overall, diagnosing autoimmune encephalitis is challenging and requires careful evaluation. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2023 in Boston, MA.

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