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  • N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibodies in pediatric dyskinetic encephalitis lethargica.

    24 October 2018

    Encephalitis lethargica (EL) describes an encephalitis with psychiatric, sleep, and extrapyramidal movement disorders. Dyskinetic and parkinsonian forms have been described. EL shares clinical features with the anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR-Ab) encephalitis. We studied 20 sera from pediatric patients with contemporary EL. Ten sera (from 2 males and 8 females, aged 1.3-13 years) and 6/6 cerebrospinal fluid samples were positive for NMDAR-Ab. NMDAR-Ab-positive patients had dyskinesias, agitation, seizures, and insomnia, whereas parkinsonism and somnolence dominated in the NMDAR-Ab-negative children. We were unable to identify any tumors. The dyskinetic form of EL is an NMDAR-Ab encephalitis and can affect very young children.

  • Potentially pathogenic autoantibodies associated with epilepsy and encephalitis in children and adults.

    24 October 2018

    Autoantibodies to surface proteins that influence neuronal excitability are increasingly found in different forms of epilepsy or encephalitis in adults, and are also beginning to be identified in children. The conditions are often refractory to traditional antiepileptic drugs. Detection of these antibodies can help to identify forms of epilepsy that may respond to immunotherapies.

  • Bickerstaff's encephalitis and Miller Fisher syndrome associated with voltage-gated potassium channel and novel anti-neuronal antibodies.

    24 October 2018

    BACKGROUND: GQ1b antibody (GQ1b-Ab) is detected in approximately two-thirds of sera of patients with Bickerstaffs encephalitis (BE). Whilst some of the remaining patients have antibodies to other gangliosides, many patients with BE are reported to be seronegative. METHODS AND RESULTS: Voltage-gated potassium channel antibody (VGKC-Ab) at high titer was detected during the diagnostic work-up of one patient with BE. Sera of an additional patient with BE and nine patients with Miller Fisher syndrome (MF) (all GQ1b-Ab positive) were investigated for VGKC-Ab and other anti-neuronal antibodies by radioimmunoprecipitation using 125I-dendrotoxin-VGKC and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Two patients with MF exhibited moderate titer VGKC-Abs. Regardless of positivity for VGKC or GQ1b antibodies, serum IgG of all patients with BE and MF reacted with the molecular layer and Purkinje cells of the cerebellum in a distinctive pattern. CONCLUSION: Voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies might be involved in some cases of BE or MF. The common staining pattern despite different antibody results suggests that there might be other, as yet unidentified, antibodies associated with BE and MF.

  • Antibodies to voltage-gated potassium and calcium channels in epilepsy.

    24 October 2018

    OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of antibodies to ion channels in patients with long standing epilepsy. BACKGROUND: Although the CNS is thought to be protected from circulating antibodies by the blood brain barrier, glutamate receptor antibodies have been reported in Rasmussen's encephalitis, glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) antibodies have been found in a few patients with epilepsy, and antibodies to voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKC) have been found in a non-paraneoplastic form of limbic encephalitis (with amnesia and seizures) that responds to immunosuppressive therapy. METHODS: We retrospectively screened sera from female epilepsy patients (n=106) for autoantibodies to VGKC (Kv 1.1, 1.2 or 1.6), voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) (P/Q-type), and GAD. All positive results, based on the values of control data [McKnight, K., Jiang, Y., et al. (2005). Serum antibodies in epilepsy and seizure-associated disorders. Neurology 65, 1730-1735], were retested at lower serum concentrations, and results compared with previously published control data. Demographics, medical history, and epilepsy related information was gathered. RESULTS: The studied group consisted predominantly of patients with long standing drug resistant epilepsy. VGKC antibodies were raised (>100 pM) in six patients. VGCC antibodies (>45 pM) were slightly raised in only one patient. GAD antibodies were <3 U/ml in all patients. The clinical features of the patients with VGKC antibodies differed from previously described patients with limbic encephalitis-like syndrome, and were not different with respect to seizure type, age at first seizure, duration of epilepsy, or use of anti-epileptic drugs from the VGKC antibody negative patients. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that antibodies to VGKC are present in 6% of patients with typical long-standing epilepsy, but whether these antibodies are pathogenic or secondary to the primary disease process needs to be determined.