Brain Autoimmunity

Brain Autoimmunity

The Brain Autoimmunity group aims to understand the role of the immune system, especially autoantibodies and B cells, in neurological diseases including autoimmune encephalitis, demyelinating syndromes, movement disorders and early-onset psychosis.

Immune-mediated disorders of the brain can present in previously normal children and result in rapid alteration in neurological function. Children can become blind, have disturbed movement and behaviour, memory loss, or severe seizures.

The Brain Autoimmunity group's focus is on identifying the presence of unusual or established autoantibodies and impaired immune response in children presenting with these disorders. The presence of a biomarkers may be used  for early diagnosis and inform potential intervention with immune therapies.   These biomarkers may also be the direct cause of diseases, offering avenues for early treatment and improved outcomes.

Working directly with patients and families presenting to The Children's Hospital at Westmead neurology clinics with a range of acute and chronic disorders including encephalitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Chorea, Epilepsy and Tourettes, the Brain Autoimmunity group investigates the biology of neurological and psychiatric diseases.

The Brain Autoimmunity group also offers a range of diagnostic tests including:

  • Dopamine-2 receptor (D2R) antibodies
  • NMDA Receptor antibodies, subunit NR1
  • Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) antibodies

The Brain Autoimmunity group is led by Prof Fabienne Brilot.

Prof Fabienne Brilot

Prof Fabienne Brilot

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Head of the Brain Autoimmunity group. She is a cellular immunologist whose research interests are focused on the detection and role of autoantibodies in brain immune-mediated diseases.
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More team members

  • Samuel Houston - Data Scientist and Database Manager
  • Vera Merheb - Senior Research Assistant
  • Dr Fiona Lee - Research Assistant
  • Kristy Nguyen - Research Assistant
  • Dr Avani Yeola - Post-doctoral scientist
  • Dr Mayra Loli Quinteros - Post-doctoral scientist
  • Dr Rashmi Gamage - Post-doctoral scientist
  • Dr Jane Andersen - MPhil Student
  • Aleha Pillay - PhD Student
Last updated Thursday 2nd May 2024