Clinical presentation of autoimmune and viral encephalitides

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Purpose of reviewWe describe clinical and diagnostic features of various autoimmune and viral encephalitis subtypes.Recent findingsPopulation-based studies have demonstrated both autoimmune and viral causes have similar prevalence and incident rates. Repertoire of autoimmune biomarkers has considerably increased with discovery of many novel neural antibodies including glial fibrillary acidic proteinα-immunoglobulin G. Similarly, with use of next generation sequencing and DNA libraries, many viral causes are being detected which would have been categorized as encephalitis of unknown cause a decade ago.SummaryAutoimmune and viral encephalitides can resemble one another and sometimes autoimmune encephalitis may be triggered by viral infections. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to both causes, which emphasizes the importance of clinical diagnosis before laboratory confirmation.

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