Neuroinflammatory syndromes in children

Aaron J. Hauptman, Vladimir Ferrafiat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of reviewNeuropsychiatric symptoms due to paediatric neuroinflammatory diseases are increasingly recognized and reported. Psychiatrists are crucial in front-lines identification, diagnosis and care of individuals with disorders such as autoimmune encephalitis and management of long-term neurobehavioral sequelae. This review summarizes recent literature on autoimmune and post-infectious encephalitis, discusses special considerations in children with neurodevelopmental conditions and presents a paradigm for evaluation and management.Recent findingsThere is a growing body of evidence on neuropsychiatric symptom burdens of paediatric neuroinflammatory diseases. A particular development is the evolution of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for conditions such as autoimmune encephalitis, which take into account phenotypes of acute, short-term and long-term sequelae. Interest in inflammatory sequelae of viral illness, such as SARS-CoV-2, in children remains in early development.SummaryNeuroimmunological disease data are constantly evolving. New recommendations exist for multiple common neuroimmunological disorders with behavioural, emotional, cognitive and neurological sequelae. Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis now has well-recognized patterns of symptom semiology, diagnostic and treatment recommendations, and outcome patterns. Recognizing psychiatric symptoms heralding autoimmune brain disease and understanding neuropsychiatric sequelae are now a crucial skill set for paediatric psychiatrists. Exploration of inflammatory features of other diseases, such as genetic syndromes, is a burgeoning research area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • autoimmune
  • encephalitis
  • neuropsychiatry
  • paediatric neuroinflammatory disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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