Associate Professor and Honorary Consultant Neurologist
- Co-director Autoimmune Neurology Diagnostic laboratory
- Head, Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group
I am a consultant neurologist and clinician-scientist with clinical and laboratory experiences in the field of autoantibody mediated diseases of the nervous system, in particular the central nervous system. I care for patients with these disorders and run a research group to learn more about the origins and treatments of these diseases. I welcome referrals of patients with possible autoimmune neurological conditions.
I have studied the antigenic targets of autoantibodies in patients with encephalitis and epilepsies. In particular, my research has focused on LGI1, CASPR2 and the NMDA-receptor. In addition, I have been involved with projects examining autoantibodies against the GABAA-receptor, glycine receptors and aquaporin-4.
Along with colleagues, I have looked after and met multiple patients with these disorders, phenotyped these patients in great detail, and characterised their clinical responses to therapies. These findings have generated, often distinctive, clinical features which correlate well with a high likelihood of an immunotherapy-responsive condition. They have also identified novel clinical descriptions of patients with cognitive, movement and seizure disorders, in particular faciobrachial dystonic seizures - a novel autoimmune epilepsy syndrome which often responds better to immunotherapies than conventional anti-epileptic drugs.
I run a research group combining talented clinicians, clinician-scientists and basic scientists with the aim of better understanding the causes and potential treatments of this condition.
I am currently exploring new antigenic targets, improved methods to measure antibody levels, mechanisms of antibody action and methods to study novel therapeutic agents as part of a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship.
Autoantibody-mediated diseases of the CNS: Structure, dysfunction and therapy.
Varley J. et al, (2018), Neuropharmacology, 132, 71 - 82
Condition-dependent generation of aquaporin-4 antibodies from circulating B cells in neuromyelitis optica.
Wilson R. et al, (2018), Brain, 141, 1063 - 1074
N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antibody production from germinal center reactions: Therapeutic implications.
Makuch M. et al, (2018), Ann Neurol, 83, 553 - 561
The importance of early immunotherapy in patients with faciobrachial dystonic seizures.
Thompson J. et al, (2018), Brain, 141, 348 - 356
Bortezomib for Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder: A New Therapeutic Option for the More Severe Forms?
Taylor J. and Irani SR., (2018), JAMA Neurol, 75