Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed doi:10.1136/edpract-2011-301063
  • What I have learnt from Practical Neurology

Limbic encephalitis: a clinician's guide

  1. Georgina Ann Bird-Lieberman
  1. Correspondence to Dr Georgina Ann Bird-Lieberman, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Leeds General Infirmary, F Floor Martin Wing, LGI, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK; georgiebl{at}
  • Received 19 October 2011
  • Published Online First 9 April 2013

Cases of limbic encephalitis are being increasingly recognised by paediatric neurologists. As they usually present initially to paediatricians it is vital they are aware of the presentation, important investigations and management (table 1), as the prompt instigation of immunosuppression in the correct cases will prevent seizures and medial temporal lobe atrophy and significantly improve outcome. This is an excellent guide and includes some excellent MRI images with the various hippocamapl/temporal lobe changes.1

Key clinical features of limbic encephalitis:

  • Cognitive, and particularly memory impairment

  • Temporal lobe seizures

  • MRI signal change within limbic structures, particularly in the hippocampus.

Table 1

An overview of investigation findings in some causes of limbic encephalitis


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.


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