Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light chain levels as biomarkers for encephalitis outcomes


  • Higher cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light chain (CSF-NfL) levels are associated with worse long-term outcomes in N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis (anti-NMDARE) but do not correlate with short-term outcomes; neuro-axonal damage identified by high CSF-NfL levels supports early aggressive immunotherapy to possibly prevent further injury and avoid secondary adverse outcomes.

Why this matters

    CSF-NfL levels have been shown to be indicative of axonal damage and are an emerging biomarker in neuro-inflammatory central nervous system diseases, but their contribution in anti-NMDARE is not well understood; biomarkers of disease activity will aid in guiding treatment decisions.

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