Roughly 70 researchers, nurses, neuropsychologists, neurologists, residents, fellows, patient advocates, patients, and families attended a “Dinner and Discussion on the Future of Autoimmune Neurology” on the evening of 4/27/17, held at the Richard Simches Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Organized by Dr. Jenny Linnoila, a neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, the overall theme was focused on what to expect in upcoming years in the context of a decade since the discovery of NMDA receptor encephalitis. This coincided with the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting, which was held in Boston this year. Attendees came from Asia, Europe, South America, and throughout the United States.
Talks covered perspectives on the past and future of autoimmune neurology, ideas for
collaboration across institutions, setting up fellowship training programs, and highlighted ongoing research from Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, Oxford, Barcelona, and MGH. Research updates included the use of PET in autoimmune encephalitis, characterization of novel antibodies, imaging characteristics in autoimmune spinal cord disease, autoimmune epilepsy, effects of maternal autoantibodies on neurodevelopment of offspring, HSV encephalitis-induced NMDA receptor encephalitis, and immune cell trafficking between skull bone marrow and the brain. This event allowed for the cross-fertilization of ideas from different perspectives, fostering future collaborations spanning across the globe. The event was sponsored by the Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance.
Talks and speakers included the following:
Reflection: Past 10 years and the next 10 years to come; Maarten Titulaer, Netherlands
Collaboration: How to bridge across institutions/trials?; Tanuja Chitnis, MGH/BWH
Training: Perspectives on setting up fellowship program; Stacey Clardy, U. Utah
Updates in research:
- PET imaging in autoimmune encephalitis; John Probasco, Johns Hopkins
- Update from Mayo; Eoin Flanagan, Mayo Clinic
- Update from Oxford; Angela Vincent, Oxford
- Update on post HSV NMDARE; Thais Armangue, Hospital Clinic, Barcelona
- Update from MGH; Fanny Herisson, MGH