Neuropsychological testing in autoimmune encephalitis: A scoping review

Rachel Galioto, Tiffany Grezmak, Carol Swetlik, Justin R. Abbatemarco, Maarten J. Titulaer, Carsten Finke and Amy Kunchok

Background and Objectives
Identifying optimal methods for evaluation and monitoring of cognitive outcomes in AE is important for clinical care and research. This scoping review aimed to evaluate neuropsychological tests (NPT) that are most frequently impaired in AE cohorts to provide recommendations for a standardized NPT battery for AE outcome.

PubMed search for studies examining NPT in patients with AE was conducted on June 9, 2023. Studies were screened for inclusion/exclusion criteria as follows: at least 1 NPT, individual NPT test scores with comparison with healthy controls or normative data and neural-IgG status, total sample size ≥5, and English manuscript available.

The search yielded 5,393 studies, of which 3,359 were screened, 107 were full text reviewed, and 32 met inclusion/exclusion criteria, anti-NMDA-R (k = 18), anti-LGI1 (k = 10), anti-GABAB-R (k = 2), anti-GAD-65 (k = 4), and anti-CASPR2 (k = 3). The cognitive domains most frequently impaired were visual and verbal episodic memory, attention/working memory, processing speed, and aspects of executive functions.

Given the dearth of literature examining NPT in AE in combination with small sample sizes and methodological differences, more research in this area is needed. However, we provide rec- ommendations for a test battery to be used in future studies, with the aim of standardizing research in this area. Based on the available literature, we recommend the use of comprehensive NPT batteries, spanning all cognitive domains. The highest yield measures may include the tests of (1) visual and verbal learning/memory, (2) basic and sustained attention, (3) processing speed, and (4) executive functions.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 11(2):e200204 (2024)


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