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Friday March 27th, 2015

The Lancet Neurology, together with IDIBAPS researchers, has presented in Barcelona recent advances in autoimmune encephalitis

Today concludes the international conference organized by the prestigious journal Lancet Neurology in Barcelona to discuss the latest scientific and clinical studies in the field of autoimmune disorders affecting the central nervous system. In the conference have participated, among others, Dr. Josep Dalmau, ICREA researcher at IDIBAPS, where leads the  Autoimmune Pathogenesis of Neuronal Diseases group, and professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Francesc Graus, head of the Neurology Department at Hospital Clínic; and Susannah Cahalan, an american journalist, author of the best-seller Brain on Fire, in which she explains her experience until she was diagnosed with an autoimmune encephalitis, a disease little known until then.

The conference has focused on the anti-NMDA autoimmune encephalitis, a disease described in 2005 by a team led by Dr. Josep Dalmau at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). It is a disorder in which the patient’s immune system attacks the brain NMDA receptors, an important piece for neuronal plasticity. Consequently appears a wide range of symptoms such as psychosis, behavioral disorders, memory deficits or loss of consciousness that can be confused with serious psychiatric disorders.

A large number of international experts have participated in the conference. Among them, the american journalist Susannah Cahalan, author of the best-seller “Brain on Fire,” a memoir in which she explains her experience since she started presenting symptoms of which it would be diagnosed as an autoimmune encephalitis.

With this event Lancet Neurology has promoted and encouraged debate about the latest advances related to basic and clinical research in this type of autoimmune disorders, paving the way for future research in synaptic and immunological mechanisms of diseases affecting the central nervous system.

More information at The Lancet Neurology Autoimmune Disorders Conference

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