Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Glycine-receptor(GlyR) antibodies are well defined in progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus (PERM), and are associated with a limited spectrum of immunotherapy-responsive syndromes. Whilst paradigms of autoantibody pathogenicity have been proposed, the trigger and propagation of GlyR antibodies remains unclear. We herein describe and define clinical and immunobiological observations of a GlyR antibody positive patient with PERM with the rare association of an ovarian teratoma.A 36-year-old woman presented with subacute axial and limb rigidity, stimulus-sensitive myoclonus, startle, ataxia, anxiety and episodic apnoea. GlyR antibodies were present in serum and CSF. CT revealed a 53 mm left ovarian teratoma. Despite improvement following immunotherapy, she relapsed with respiratory arrest, therefore removal of the left ovarian teratoma was performed.The fresh teratoma tissue was cultured in B-cell stimulating and plasma cell maintaining conditions, based on similar work with ovarian teratomas from patients with NMDAR-antibody encephalitis (Makuch et al., Annals of Neurology 2018).This teratoma secreted GlyR antibodies into culture supernatants consistent with intra-tumoral synthesis of glycine-receptor antibodies. Whilst marked post-surgical improvement was observed, relapses persisted in correspondence with persistent glycine-receptor antibodies.Our case highlights key areas for clinical consideration; GlyR antibody-mediated disease can be paraneoplastic in nature; ovarian teratomas can produce pathogenic autoantibodies; late tumour removal or immunotherapy worsens prognosis.

Original publication




Conference paper



Publication Date





e8.2 - e8