The Encephalitis Society’s aim is to improve the quality of life of all people affected directly and indirectly by encephalitis. The activities we undertake towards achieving our aim are to provide support and information, raise awareness and promote and collaborate on research on encephalitis.

We recognise that there are a wide range of definitions in relation to encephalitis. We define encephalitis as being a brain syndrome associated with inflammation with a number of possible causes and complex diagnostic algorithms 1,2,3,4,5,6 .

Other disorders of the brain that may exhibit similar signs and symptoms, but do not have the inflammatory feature of encephalitis are not included in the scope of our activities. We will endeavour to signpost those with diagnoses other than encephalitis to organisations better equipped to meet their needs.

Examples of disorders that are not included in our remit:


1 Graus F., Titulaer M.J., Balu R., et al. A clinical approach to diagnosis of autoimmune encephalitis. Lancet Neurol 2016; 15: 391–404.

2 Britton P.N., Eastwood K., Paterson B., et al. Consensus guidelines for the investigation and management of encephalitis in adults and children in Australia and New Zealand. Intern Med J 2015; 45(5):536-576.

3 Solomon T, Michael BD (joint first), Smith PE, Sanderson F, Davies NWS, Hart IJ, Buckley C, Holland M, Easton A, Kneen R, Beeching NJ. On behalf of the National Encephalitis Guidelines Development Group. Management of suspected viral encephalitis in adults: Association of British Neurologists and British Infection Association National Guideline. Journal of Infection 2012; 64(4):347-73.

4 Kneen R, Michael BD, Menson E, Mehta B, Easton A, Hemingway C, Klapper PE, Vincent A, Lim M, Carrol E, Solomon T. On behalf of the National Encephalitis Guidelines Development and Stakeholder Groups. Management of suspected viral Encephalitis in children: Association of British Neurologists and British Paediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases Group National Guidelines. Journal of Infection 2012; 64(5): 449-477.

5 Stahl J.P., Azouvi P., Bruneel F., et al. Guidelines on the management of infectious encephalitis in adults. Med Mal Infect. 2017 May;47(3):179-194.

6 Venkatesan, A. and Geocadin, R.G. Diagnosis and management of acute encephalitis A practical approach. Neurol Clin Pract. 2014 Jun; 4(3): 206–215.

[1] Please note we will continue to support the very small number of Lyme Encephalitis patients and their families.