Immunological Research

    Immunological Research

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Latest Immunological Research

Researchers are in the early stages of understanding how the immune system can affect the brain and its function. There is recent global recognition that “self-antibodies” that circulate in the blood may attack the nervous system, causing a range of disorders collectively termed “autoimmune encephalitides,” which manifest with neuropsychiatric symptoms (research is also growing at the Mayo Clinic in the U.S. and at the International Consortium at Oxford University). There is extensive evidence from research studies that these self-antibodies circulate in the blood of PANDAS/PANS children, recognize nerve cells in the basal ganglia and attack them. PANDAS/PANS researchers are studying how these antibodies enter and affect the brain. 

In addition, several studies in animal models for the disease suggest that the adaptive immune system that fights infections for a long time may malfunction in this disease by entering the brain and damaging the barrier function of the blood vessels, inducing brain inflammation and impairing the function of nerve cells. The innate immune system also appears to play a key role in autoimmune encephalitides, and the prognosis of lasting remission in patients is currently being investigated. 

This line of research is being conducted by several researchers that are part of the PANS Consortium. Clinicians are working to harness data to develop potential therapeutic strategies to prevent and stop the re-exacerbation of these autoimmune processes. We will continue to update this site with each new advancement in post-infectious basal ganglia encephalitis (BGE).

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