It is a condition whereby the limbic regions of the brain become inflamed and cease to function properly. It predominantly affects the medial temporal lobes (hippocampus, amygdalae) and orbitofrontal cortex, which are areas involved in memory, learning and emotional regulation.
Causes of limbic encephalitis
Two broad categories:
- Infectious encephalitis – caused by direct attack of the limbic regions by a virus.
- Autoimmune encephalitis – caused by one’s own immune system reacting against parts of the limbic system. Some cases are associated with cancer while some are not.