Just as the diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis (AE) has evolved over the past several years, so have the treatment options. The following discussion is intended only as an introduction to various treatment options. ONLY your doctor or medical professional can prescribe an appropriate treatment regime.
Early and aggressive treatment of AE leads to the best outcomes. A number of options are available to treat AE. These therapies are broken down into what are considered “first line” and “second line” treatment options. One or more “first line” treatments may be prescribed by your physician as soon as a patient is diagnosed with AE. The four most common “first line” treatments include the following:
removal of a teratoma (if present) that could be triggering the autoimmune response;
use of anti-inflammatory drugs (ie. steroids);
use of plasmapheresis to remove harmful antibodies from blood; and
treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) which is believed to occupy the binding sites where harmful antibodies attach to brain cells.
Early and aggressive therapy has been shown to prevent progression of the disease.
Patients who do not improve on first line treatments may be given a “second line” treatment. “Second line” treatments are drugs that are intended to suppress the immune system. The three most common “second line” drugs used for AE are: