Antibody Therapies in Autoimmune Encephalitis

I. Smets, M. J. Titulaer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Autoimmune encephalitis (AE) comprises a heterogeneous group of disorders in which the host immune system targets self-antigens expressed in the central nervous system. The most conspicuous example is an anti-N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor encephalitis linked to a complex neuropsychiatric syndrome. Current treatment of AE is based on immunotherapy and has been established according to clinical experience and along the concept of a B cell-mediated pathology induced by highly specific antibodies to neuronal surface antigens. In general, immunotherapy for AE follows an escalating approach. When first-line therapy with steroids, immunoglobulins, and/or plasma exchange fails, one converts to second-line immunotherapy. Alkylating agents could be the first choice in this stage. However, due to their side effect profile, most clinicians give preference to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed at B cells such as rituximab. Newer mAbs might be added as a third-line therapy in the future, or be given even earlier if shown effective. In this chapter, we will discuss mAbs targeting B cells (rituximab, ocrelizumab, inebulizumab, daratumumab), IL-6 (tocilizumab, satralizumab), the neonatal Fc receptor (FCRn) (efgartigimod, rozanolixizumab), and the complement cascade (eculizumab).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-831
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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