Virtual Frontiers Lecture: Steven Vernino

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Frontiers Lecture

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The Center for BrainHealth invites top scientists in the field to share their knowledge with students, researchers and all who are interested in the science of brain health. The lectures focus on their latest approaches and findings. They are free when you register.

Update on Autoimmune Encephalitis

Steven Vernino, MD, PhD

Autoimmune neurology is a quickly evolving field. There is increasing recognition that many cases of rapidly progressive dementia and other forms of new onset behavioral changes may be explained by autoimmunity against molecular targets in the brain. It is important for clinicians to be familiar with the common forms of autoimmune encephalitis and aware of the existence of other rare presentations.

Dr. Vernino is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Executive Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

A neurologist, Dr. Vernino specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and nonsurgically treating autoimmune neurological disorders, autonomic disorders, and neuromuscular disorders. He serves as Director of the Autonomic Disorders Clinic, the multidisciplinary Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Clinic, and the Autonomic Disorders Fellowship Program. He is also Co-Director of the Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Program. Dr. Vernino holds the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation Distinguished Chair in Neuromuscular Disease Research. His primary research goal is improving the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune neurological disorders and helping to establish the field of autoimmune neurology. Most notably, Dr. Vernino has identified the presence of antibodies to ganglionic acetylcholine receptors as the cause of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, a rare autonomic nervous system disorder. He has also characterized several neurological antibodies related to paraneoplastic disorders.