Hashimoto encephalopathy: literature review

J. Y. Zhou, B. Xu, J. Lopes, J. Blamoun, L. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Hashimoto encephalopathy (HE) presents as an encephalopathy without central nervous system infection or tumor. HE is associated with autoimmune thyroiditis and is thus considered to be an autoimmune disorder. The prevalence of HE is low, but death and status epilepticus have been reported. HE manifests with a wide range of symptoms that include behavioral changes and confusion. Elevated thyroid antibodies are present in the majority of cases and are required for the diagnosis of HE. Normal brain MRI findings are found in the majority of patients diagnosed with HE. The most consistent CSF abnormality noted in HE patients is the presence of elevated protein. Most HE patients respond well to steroid therapy. Clinical improvements are also observed with IV immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis. In conclusion, it is now generally accepted that the diagnosis of HE must include encephalopathy characterized by cognitive impairment associated with psychiatric features, such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. Autoimmune encephalitis and prion disease should be considered in the differential diagnosis due to the similarity of the clinical features of these conditions to those of HE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Hashimoto encephalopathy
  • metabolic disorders
  • neuroendocrinology


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