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Understanding the Brain and the Immune System


Because Hashimoto’s encephalopathy is a neurological disorder that arises from immune system dysfunction, it is helpful to understand some of the basics of brain function (especially neuron function) and the immune system. The following links provide a way for the average person to gain some understanding of the brain and the immune system, and what happens when things go wrong.

In addition to these self-study links, you can also find some helpful videos within our “Media” tab under “Videos” and “Educational Videos“.

Basic Info about the Brain:


This site is the product of a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundationthe Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and the Society for Neuroscience, all leading global nonprofit organizations working to advance brain research. In addition to providing a great deal of useful information, this site also provides a download-able book about the brain and nervous system here.

For more in depth information about the brain, you can visit Brain Facts’ “Core Concepts” page and read about the “essential principals of neuroscience” which covers how the brain controls and responds to functions, your genes, and the environment; how research can lead to a greater understanding of the brain; and a very useful glossary of terms. 

Mind Yer Brain

This is the University of Edinburgh neuroscience researchers’ Facebook page that features videos, illustrations, and updates on brain research that is easy enough for the average person to understand. (You must be a Facebook member to access the site.)

A quote from the site: “Our brain and nervous system are so important to our lives… but how much do people really know about how our brains work …and what research is actually going on to figure out how our brains work?

What Are Neurons and How Do They Communicate?

This site explains what neurons are and how they communicate.

How We Encode Information in the Memory

This site provides a basic explanation of how we create memories.

What is Aphasia?

This link takes you to the National Institutes of Health (United States) web page devoted to explaining what researchers know about aphasia (“difficulty in expressing oneself when speaking, trouble understanding speech, and difficulty with reading and writing”). 

Basic Info About the Immune System:

The Immune System

This is a National Institutes of Health online book(let) that provides an in depth – yet understandable – explanation of how the immune system works.

Autoimmune Disfunction

This is the National Institutes of Health (US) web page devoted to explaining autoimmune dysfunction, and definitions of medical terms that relate to the immune system

The Immune System

Learn about the NIH BRAIN Initiative: Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies.

“By accelerating the development and application of innovative technologies, researchers will be able to produce a revolutionary new dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. Long desired by researchers seeking new ways to treat, cure, and even prevent brain disorders, this picture will fill major gaps in our current knowledge and provide unprecedented opportunities for exploring exactly how the brain enables the human body to record, process, utilize, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information, all at the speed of thought.”


Last edited by Web Team on June 20th, 2016

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AE Alliance
"The Autoimmune Encephalitis Alliance promotes collaboration to improve care, find a cure and create community so that no one faces autoimmune encephalitis alone.

The Encephalitis Society
"The Encephalitis Society is an International organization providing information and support for all causes of Encephalitis."

Encephalitis Global
"Encephalitis Global is a U.S.A. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2005 as an alliance connecting encephalitis survivors and caregivers around the world."

Scientific literature is growing at a rate of more than 2 new articles every single minute. It is impossible for scientists to consume and understand the rapidly expanding ocean of biomedical literature. You can help biomedical researchers find the information they need to discover cures faster.
"Connecting Rare Disease Patients Globally"
"Alone we are rare. Together we are strong.®"

Contact a Family
"For families with disabled children."

Madison's Foundation Provides information about rare diseases and connects parents whose children have the same rare disease.

NIH Health Hotline
Toll-free numbers from the National Library of Medicine's Health Hotlines Database.

HE Notebook - Wordpress Site
A great blog of an HE patient with a trove of information, personal stories, and links to medical studies.