Autoimmune encephalitis antibody-positivity should not be offered as a routine clinical test in children under 3 years of age presenting with seizures.
Why this matters
Seizures are an early clinical feature of most children with antibody-associated encephalitis. Screening these children for antibodies directed against synaptic epitopes of autoimmune encephalitis is a potential method of diagnosing it early, thus identifying patients who would benefit from intervention. This study found that a very small proportion of children presenting with seizures under 3 years of age have circulating neuronal antibodies, therefore routine testing for these antibodies is not recommended in these patients.