Psychometric deficits in autoimmune encephalitis: A retrospective study from the Australian Autoimmune Encephalitis Consortium

Sarah Griffith, Robb Wesselingh, James Broadley, Marie O'Shea, Chris Kyndt, Catherine Meade, Brian Long, Udaya Seneviratne, Natalie Reidy, Robert Bourke, Katherine Buzzard, Wendyl D'Souza, Richard Macdonell, Amy Brodtmann, Helmut Butzkueven, Terence J. O'Brien, Rubina Alpitsis, Charles B. Malpas, Mastura Monif, on behalf of the Australian Autoimmune Encephalitis Consortium

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Background and purpose: Despite the rapid increase in research examining outcomes in autoimmune encephalitis (AE) patients, there are few cohort studies examining cognitive outcomes in this population. The current study aimed to characterise psychometric outcomes in this population, and explore variables that may predict psychometric outcomes. Methods: This retrospective observational study collected psychometric data from 59 patients across six secondary and tertiary referral centres in metropolitan hospitals in Victoria, Australia between January 2008 and July 2019. Frequency and pattern analysis were employed to define and characterize psychometric outcomes. Univariable logistic regression was performed to examine predictors of intact and pathological psychometric outcomes. Results: Deficits in psychometric markers of executive dysfunction were the most common finding in this cohort, followed by deficits on tasks sensitive to memory. A total of 54.2% of patients were classified as having psychometric impairments across at least two cognitive domains. Twenty-nine patterns were observed, suggesting outcomes in AE are complex. None of the demographic data, clinical features or auxiliary examination variables were predictors of psychometric outcome. Conclusions: Cognitive outcomes in AE are complex. Further detailed and standardized cognitive testing, in combination with magnetic resonance imaging volumetrics and serum/cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, is required to provide rigorous assessments of disease outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2355-2366
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • autoimmune diseases
  • autoimmune encephalitis
  • cognitive outcomes
  • neuropsychology

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