There are other conditions that have similar combinations of symptoms to AE. One of the hallmarks of AE is a rapid development of symptoms and progression over time for most causes of AE. However, other neurological and psychiatric conditions may present with a sudden onset of symptoms or quickly worsening symptoms.
Epilepsy, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and tic disorders can have an “overnight” onset, either because milder symptoms were not noticed or because the symptoms truly developed suddenly. Conditions such as anxiety and depression can be associated with “brain fog”, or trouble focusing or remembering things, as well as difficulties with sleep, movement disorders, and behavior changes.
Epilepsy syndromes, especially in children, can present with new seizures with no trigger. Neurodegenerative and metabolic conditions in adults and children can also present with complex symptoms. When people have another diagnosis that can explain their condition, including an unusual presentation of a more common disorder, and they do not meet the proposed criteria for AE, treatment for AE is unlikely to be recommended.