People are affected by encephalitis globally each year
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. It is caused by an infection or through the immune system attacking the brain (Autoimmune encephalitis (AE)).
It is a rare, complex disease that can cause rapid changes in both physical and mental health. Anybody can be affected of encephalitis, irrespective of age, gender, or ethnicity.
It has a high death rate and survivors are often left with an acquired brain injury and life changing consequences. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimizing both short- and long-term complications of this disease.
Certain forms of encephalitis may be associated with some types of tumors.
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AE was recognized as a disease relatively recently. Because of this, some doctors may not be familiar with this condition, and it may be misdiagnosed as a psychiatric or neurological disorder.
Symptoms often vary from patient to patient. They can include a sudden decline in work or school performance, loss of the ability to speak, abnormal body movements or seizures, vision loss, weakness of the arms or legs, and sleep problems. Psychiatric manifestations can range from anxiety and mood changes to psychosis with hallucinations, delusions, or catatonia. The symptoms typically develop quickly over weeks to a few months. Long-standing psychiatric issues (for many months or years) are not a sign of AE.
The diagnosis of AE is best made by a multidisciplinary healthcare team.
Diagnosis requires a thorough history and physical exam, as well as lab studies, imaging, brain MRI and an EEG (measuring brain waves). Other causes of brain inflammation, such as infection, must be ruled out before a diagnosis of AE can be made.
Treatment varies depending on the severity of the disease. Corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive medications are typically used to control the inflammation in the brain.
If a tumor is found, surgically removing it can significantly improve the patient’s AE.
Once the underlying encephalitis is controlled, long-term rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, may help patients regain function.
Since it is difficult to know exactly what antibody that causes the symptoms of AE, Wieslab Diagnostic Services offer test panels for the suspicion of AE’s and Paraneoplastic Syndromes.
For selected indications, such as AE, where fast results are important for disease diagnosis and treatment decisions, we provide urgent testing service. Through our urgent testing the doctor can get the test result within 24h which is of importance if the symptoms are acute and the patients is hospitalized.
Benefit from our expertise, flexible solutions, and exceptional customer service - talk to us about your testing needs today!