What are the priority areas of encephalitis research for the Encephalitis Society? Read on to find out more:


We are becoming increasingly aware of the additional challenges of emerging infections around the world.

We want to support research which makes diagnosis quicker and more specific - particularly with regards to these emerging and future challenges - and to share this new knowledge effectively with doctors globally.

We are also interested in research that explores any connections between delays in diagnosis, treatment and the outcomes of encephalitis.


Treatments are often limited in infectious causes of encephalitis. We do know from experience with COVID-19 that sometimes widely available treatments (for example, dexamethasone) can be very effective in reducing symptoms, although we know little about the longer-term benefits.

We are interested in supporting research that explores the use of repurposing existing medications or the identification of targets for novel immunomodulatory agents in both infectious and autoimmune causes of encephalitis, along with their effects, not only during the acute stages but also during rehabilitation.

These aims will require the establishment of fuller registries and clinical trial platforms/networks in encephalitis to support specific studies and trials in the future.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

There is currently very little good quality research on outcomes from encephalitis. We believe research into the recovery and rehabilitation of patients who have had encephalitis has been limited.

We know little about patient recovery pathways, which forms of rehabilitation are more effective, what rehabilitation services are being offered to patients following encephalitis, what are the most effective interventions in maximising people’s clinical outcomes and quality of life and when should rehabilitation begin.

In addition to cognitive and physical outcomes, research that explores behavioural, mental health and social outcomes are much needed.

We passionately believe this should include patient driven input to inform outcome metrics.

June is Encephalitis Research Month.

And to celebrate, The Big Give is offering to DOUBLE every donation we receive this month - so for every £1 that is donated, we will receive another £1 on top.

Any money raised will go towards our Encephalitis Research Month appeal and projects which support researchers and projects around the world.

If you would like to double your donation to the Encephalitis Society, visit the Big Give website.

Double your Donation

How will my donation support encephalitis research?

Your donation during Encephalitis Research Month will go towards five research projects which will help health professionals learn more about the disease - benefitting patients through improved diagnosis and timely treatment.

The projects include:

Seed funding

Our seed funding project gives researchers – particularly those from resource-limited setting – the opportunity to launch pilot studies into different aspects of encephalitis. Since it’s launch in 2019, we have supported projects in Cameroon, Brazil, Senegal, Uganda, and India, among other countries.

Research exchange projects

We strongly believe in supporting the next generation of researchers. And given the global burden of encephalitis, we offer research exchanges between researchers from low-and-middle income countries and UK centres of excellence.

Academic clinical fellowship

Your donation will help us fund one Academic Clinical Fellowship every three years. These junior researchers will split their time working with patients (75%) and obtaining research experience (25%). This fellowship is a springboard towards a clinical academic career in encephalitis.

Medical Research Council (MRC) fellowship

In this brand new and exciting development, we are working with the MRC to offer a jointly-funded clinical research training fellowship. We will support one clinical research fellow to undertake UK-based research project that contributes to improving the diagnosis, treatment, or rehabilitation of patients.

American Brain Foundation (ABF)

We are contributing to the ABF’s $10m, multi-year funding initiative which is aiming to understand neuroinflammation as an underlying mechanism of brain disease. Neuroinflammation is a primary contributor to encephalitis and can affect people at all stages of life.