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Autoimmune encephalitis can be extremely dangerous to your child and damaging to their development. Our clinic can help your child overcome the effects of this disorder and get back to being a kid again.

Why Choose Us for Your Child's Autoimmune Encephalitis Care

  • We’re the only clinic in the region that specializes in treating children with autoimmune encephalitis.
  • We take great care to respect the social and cultural needs of each of our patients.
  • Our patients often see dramatic improvement and return to doing the things they love most.
  • Some of the region’s best pediatric brain and immune experts team up to develop an effective treatment plan.
  • Other specialists, like pediatric rehabilitation physicians and physical and speech therapists, help your child get back to a normal life.

Conditions Treated

  • NMDA receptor encephalitis
  • Limbic encephalitis, including anti-LG1 encephalitis and anti-CASPR2 encephalitis
  • Opsoclonus-Myoclonus-Ataxia Syndrome

What is Autoimmune Encephalitis?

Pediatric autoimmune encephalitis is what happens when your child’s immune system attacks their own healthy brain cells. The attack causes inflammation, which can then cause many different symptoms, depending on the affected area of the brain.

The immune system attacks the brain because of an underlying disease. Finding the cause of your child’s autoimmune encephalitis is an important step in treatment. 

How do I know if my child has autoimmune encephalitis?

Almost always, children are admitted to the hospital for the highly noticeable symptoms that come with autoimmune encephalitis. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Behavioral changes (like confusion and hallucinations)
  • Abnormal movements (like teeth grinding or constant mouth movement)
  • Seizures

Because there are so many causes and symptoms, only a doctor can tell you if your child has autoimmune encephalitis. Our doctors perform a variety of tests to learn about your child’s condition, including lab tests and psychological testing.

What to Expect

At the Hospital

Because children with AE are often admitted to the hospital first, treatment usually begins outside of our clinic. A pediatric neurologist and pediatric rheumatologist come see your child in the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital to begin treatment. 

Our specialists develop a treatment plan based on the underlying disease and the symptoms affecting your child. We target not only the disease itself but the debilitating symptoms that come with it. Medical treatments can include oral medications and intravenous infusions that help control AE’s symptoms. 

At our Clinic

After your child’s hospital stay, they’ll follow up with us for outpatient treatment. As necessary, they’ll see specialists like pediatric rehabilitation physicians, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists.

At the clinic, we’ll monitor your child’s progress and adjust treatment as necessary to achieve the best possible outcome. Recovery can take several months or sometimes longer — we’re here to help every step of the way. We’re excited that most of our children make a good recovery.