[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Identification of auto antibodies has defined distinct clinico-immuno-pathological subtypes of myasthenia gravis (MG) such as AChR-antibody-positive-MG and MuSK-antibody-positive-MG. The use of more sensitive assays such as the cell-based assay (CBA) is expected to reduce the proportion of seronegative-MG. We studied the seroprevalence of AChR and MuSK antibodies using both radioimmunoprecipitation (RIA) and CBA amongst MG patients in Sri Lanka and related their antibody status to their clinical subtypes and severity.
113 patients with MG attending Neurology units in the district of Colombo were studied. Clinical data were obtained using an interviewer-administered questionnaire and medical records. The severity of MG was assessed according to MGFA clinical grading. RIA and CBA were used to detect serum AChR and MuSK antibodies. Patients with other neurological diseases were recruited as controls.
We detected either AChRAb (85%) or MuSKAb (6.2%) in 91.2% of MG patients. Complementing the RIA with the CBA improved the diagnostic power of detecting AChRAbs by 21% and MuSKAbs by 77%. The clinical characteristics and the occurrence of thymic pathology were similar to other populations except for a male preponderance (1.5:1). The AChRAb titer appeared to parallel the clinical severity. Seven of 11 (63.6%) patients with AChRAb-negative generalized MG had MuSK–MG.
Clinical characteristics of MG in Sri Lanka are similar to other populations. Complementing the RIA with CBA increases the diagnostic power of detecting pathogenic autoantibodies.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 08/2014; 342(1):82-83. · 2.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence to support the relevance of immune system in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer Disease (AD) and also there is growing evidence for importance of specific antibodies in some neurological disorders. Antibodies against Voltage Gated Potassium Channels (VGKC) and Glutamic Decarboxylase (GAD) are of interest for AD. The presence of these antibodies is thought to be related to cognitive impairment and memory problems. In our study we attempted to find a relationship between these antibodies in individuals with AD compared with healthy controls.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. 08/2014; 85(8):e3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recent discovery of several potentially pathogenic autoantibodies has helped identify patients with clinically distinctive central nervous system diseases that appear to benefit from immunotherapy. The associated autoantibodies are directed against the extracellular domains of cell‐surface–expressed neuronal or glial proteins such as LGI1, N‐methyl‐D‐aspartate receptor, and aquaporin‐4. The original descriptions of the associated clinical syndromes were phenotypically well circumscribed. However, as availability of antibody testing has increased, the range of associated patient phenotypes and demographics has expanded. This in turn has led to the recognition of more immunotherapy‐responsive syndromes in patients presenting with cognitive and behavioral problems, seizures, movement disorders, psychiatric features, and demyelinating disease. Although antibody detection remains diagnostically important, clinical recognition of these distinctive syndromes should ensure early and appropriate immunotherapy administration. We review the emerging paradigm of cell‐surface–directed antibody–mediated neurological diseases, describe how the associated disease spectrums have broadened since the original descriptions, discuss some of the methodological issues regarding techniques for antibody detection and emphasize considerations surrounding immunotherapy administration. As these disorders continue to reach mainstream neurology and even psychiatry, more cell‐surface–directed antibodies will be discovered, and their possible relevance to other more common disease presentations should become more clearly defined. Ann Neurol 2014;76:168–184
Annals of Neurology 08/2014; 76(2). · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical associations of glycine receptor antibodies have not yet been described fully. We identified prospectively 52 antibody-positive patients and collated their clinical features, investigations and immunotherapy responses. Serum glycine receptor antibody endpoint titres ranged from 1:20 to 1:60 000. In 11 paired samples, serum levels were higher than (n = 10) or equal to (n = 1) cerebrospinal fluid levels; there was intrathecal synthesis of glycine receptor antibodies in each of the six pairs available for detailed study. Four patients also had high glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (>1000 U/ml), and one had high voltage-gated potassium channel-complex antibody (2442 pM). Seven patients with very low titres (<1:50) and unknown or alternative diagnoses were excluded from further study. Three of the remaining 45 patients had newly-identified thymomas and one had a lymphoma. Thirty-three patients were classified as progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus, and two as stiff person syndrome; five had a limbic encephalitis or epileptic encephalopathy, two had brainstem features mainly, two had demyelinating optic neuropathies and one had an unclear diagnosis. Four patients (9%) died during the acute disease, but most showed marked improvement with immunotherapies. At most recent follow-up, (2-7 years, median 3 years, since first antibody detection), the median modified Rankin scale scores (excluding the four deaths) decreased from 5 at maximal severity to 1 (P < 0.0001), but relapses have occurred in five patients and a proportion are on reducing steroids or other maintenance immunotherapies as well as symptomatic treatments. The glycine receptor antibodies activated complement on glycine receptor-transfected human embryonic kidney cells at room temperature, and caused internalization and lysosomal degradation of the glycine receptors at 37°C. Immunoglobulin G antibodies bound to rodent spinal cord and brainstem co-localizing with monoclonal antibodies to glycine receptor-α1. Ten glycine receptor antibody positive samples were also identified in a retrospective cohort of 56 patients with stiff person syndrome and related syndromes. Glycine receptor antibodies are strongly associated with spinal and brainstem disorders, and the majority of patients have progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus. The antibodies demonstrate in vitro evidence of pathogenicity and the patients respond well to immunotherapies, contrasting with earlier studies of this syndrome, which indicated a poor prognosis. The presence of glycine receptor antibodies should help to identify a disease that responds to immunotherapies, but these treatments may need to be sustained, relapses can occur and maintenance immunosuppression may be required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postictal psychosis (PIP) is a serious psychiatric complication of epilepsy that occurs in approximately 6% of patients following multiple complex partial or generalized seizures. The psychosis is classically described as having a pleomorphic phenomenology, including paranoid, grandiose, and religious delusions as well as multimodal hallucinations with prominent affective changes and agitation. Little is understood about the pathophysiology of the condition. There has been a recent increase in interest in the relevance of autoimmunity to the pathogenesis of both epilepsy and psychosis. Studies have demonstrated the presence of antibodies directed against synaptic autoantigens (such as the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor or the voltage-gated potassium channel complex) in approximately 10% of cases of sporadic epilepsy. These same autoantibodies are known to cause encephalopathy syndromes which feature psychiatric symptoms, usually psychosis, as a prominent part of the phenotype as well as other neurological features such as seizures, movement disorders, and autonomic dysfunction. It is beginning to be asked if these antibodies can be associated with a purely psychiatric phenotype. Here, we hypothesize that PIP may be an autoimmune phenomenon mediated by autoantibodies against synaptic antigens. More specifically, we outline a potential mechanism whereby long or repeated seizures cause short-lived blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction during which the brain becomes exposed to pathogenic autoantibodies. In essence, we propose that PIP is a time-limited, seizure-dependent, autoantibody-mediated encephalopathy syndrome. We highlight a number of features of PIP that may be explained by this mechanism, such as the lucid interval between seizures and onset of psychosis and the progression in some cases to a chronic, interictal psychosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A wide range of clinical presentations including neuromuscular disorders and autoimmune encephalopathies is being recognized to be associated with various autoantibodies. Glycine receptor (GlyR) antibodies have so far been found mainly in adult patients with phenotypes comprising progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus or stiff-person syndrome. We report a four-year-old boy who presented with a two-year-history of drug-resistant focal epilepsy with unusual seizure semiology, temper tantrums, headache, clumsiness, and intermittently impaired speech. While MRI and CSF were normal, screening for autoimmune antibodies revealed GlyR antibodies in serum. Immunomodulatory treatment with steroids resulted in rapid and complete resolution of symptoms. Our observation widens the spectrum of clinical presentations associated with GlyR antibodies and emphasizes the potential relevance of neuronal autoantibodies in epilepsies of unknown cause in children as well as in adults.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated potassium channel complex (VGKC-complex) antibody (Ab) encephalitis is a well-recognized form of limbic encephalitis in humans, usually occurring in the absence of an underlying tumor. The patients have a subacute onset of seizures, magnetic resonance imaging findings suggestive of hippocampal inflammation, and high serum titers of Abs against proteins of the VGKC-complex, particularly leucine-rich, glioma-inactivated 1 (LGI1). Most patients are diagnosed promptly and recover substantially with immunotherapies; consequently, neuropathological data are limited. We have recently shown that feline complex partial cluster seizures with orofacial involvement (FEPSO) in cats can also be associated with Abs against VGKC-complexes/LGI1. Here we examined the brains of cats with FEPSO and compared the neuropathological findings with those in a human with VGKC-complex-Ab limbic encephalitis. Similar to humans, cats with VGKC-complex-Ab and FEPSO have hippocampal lesions with only moderate T-cell infiltrates but with marked IgG infiltration and complement C9neo deposition on hippocampal neurons, associated with neuronal loss. These findings provide further evidence that FEPSO is a feline form of VGKC-complex-Ab limbic encephalitis and provide a model for increasing understanding of the human disease.
Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology. 04/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibodies against myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG-IgG) are present in some neuromyelitis optica patients who lack antibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4-IgG). The effects of neuromyelitis optica MOG-IgG in the central nervous system have not been investigated in vivo. We microinjected MOG-IgG, obtained from patients with neuromyelitis optica, into mouse brains and compared the results with AQP4-IgG.
MOG-IgG caused myelin changes and altered the expression of axonal proteins that are essential for action potential firing, but did not produce inflammation, axonal loss, neuronal or astrocyte death. These changes were independent of complement and recovered within two weeks. By contrast, AQP4-IgG produced complement-mediated myelin loss, neuronal and astrocyte death with limited recovery at two weeks.
These differences mirror the better outcomes for MOG-IgG compared with AQP4-IgG patients and raise the possibility that MOG-IgG contributes to pathology in some neuromyelitis optica patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 5-year-old, female client-owned cat presented with acute onset of focal epileptic seizures with orofacial twitching and behavioural changes. Magnetic resonance imaging showed bilateral temporal lobe hyperintensities and the EEG was consistent with ictal epileptic seizure activity. After antiepileptic and additional corticosteroid treatment, the cat recovered and by 10 months of follow-up was seizure-free without any problem. Retrospectively, antibodies to LGI1, a component of the voltage-gated potassium channel-complex, were identified. Feline focal seizures with orofacial involvement have been increasingly recognised in client-owned cats, and autoimmune limbic encephalitis was recently suggested as a possible aetiology. This is the first report of EEG, MRI and long-term follow-up of this condition in cats which is similar to human limbic encephalitis.
Epileptic disorders: international epilepsy journal with videotape 03/2014; · 1.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal antibodies have been identified in patients with seizures as the main or sole symptom. Our aim was to investigate the prevalence of these autoantibodies in patients with focal epilepsy of unknown cause (FEoUC) and in the group having mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS).
We studied anti-neuronal antibodies of consecutive adult patients diagnosed with FEoUC and MTLE-HS in our epilepsy center. The clinical and laboratory features of antibody-positive patients were compared with those of seronegative patients. The responses to therapy have also been investigated.
Sera from 81 patients with epilepsy were tested. We found antibodies against glycine receptor (GLY-R) in 5 (6.2%), contactin-associated protein 2 (CASPR-2) in 4 (4.9%), N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) in 2 (2.5%), and voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC)-complex in 2 (2.5%) of our patients with epilepsy. Psychotic attacks and nonspecific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) white matter changes (WMCs) showed significant associations in seropositive patients (p = 0.003 and p = 0.03, respectively). Poor drug-response rates and total seizure counts were also higher in the seropositive patients but without reaching statistical significance. Three seropositive patients with previous epilepsy surgery showed typical histopathologic results for MTLE-HS, but not inflammatory changes. Moreover, some patients harboring these antibodies partly benefited from immunotherapy.
We detected neuronal antibodies in one sixth of patients with focal epilepsy, GLY-R antibodies being the leading one. Psychosis or nonspecific MRI WMCs were frequent in the seropositive group. Our results suggested that relevant antibodies should be screened for a treatment possibility in these groups.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To ascertain the frequency of childhood myasthenia in the UK. Specifically, we aimed to identify the detected incidence of autoimmune myasthenia and the detected prevalence of genetically confirmed congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) in children.
All children under 18 years of age on 31 December 2009 with a confirmed CMS genetic mutation were identified by the only UK laboratory undertaking CMS genetic testing. All cases with positive acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and muscle specific kinase (MuSK) receptor antibodies in the 5 years between 2003 and 2007 inclusive were identified by the testing laboratories. UK census data from 2001 were used as the denominator for analyses.
The UK detected prevalence of genetically confirmed CMS was 9.2 per million children under 18 years of age. CMS was equally prevalent in girls and boys. CHRNE, RAPSN and DOK7 were the most commonly identified mutations. Prevalence varied across geographical regions in England (between 2.8 and 14.8 per million children). The mean incidence of antibody-positive autoimmune myasthenia was 1.5 per million children per year over the period of the study. Girls were affected more frequently than boys; this difference persisted across the age range. Antibodies were identified during the neonatal period in 17 children.
This laboratory based study shows that childhood myasthenia is very rare. This condition is treatable, and these definitive detected incidence and prevalence data can be used to help plan diagnostic and supporting services for affected children and their families, and maximise research opportunities.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 02/2014; · 3.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rasmussen's encephalitis is a rare chronic neurological disorder, characterised by unilateral inflammation of the cerebral cortex, drug-resistant epilepsy, and progressive neurological and cognitive deterioration. Neuropathological and immunological studies support the notion that Rasmussen's encephalitis is probably driven by a T-cell response to one or more antigenic epitopes, with potential additional contribution by autoantibodies. Careful analysis of the association between histopathology and clinical presentation suggests that initial damage to the brain is mediated by T cells and microglia, suggesting a window for treatment if Rasmussen's encephalitis can be diagnosed early. Advances in neuroimaging suggest that progression of the inflammatory process seen with MRI might be a good biomarker in Rasmussen's encephalitis. For many patients, families, and doctors, choosing the right time to move from medical management to surgery is a real therapeutic dilemma. Cerebral hemispherectomy remains the only cure for seizures, but there are inevitable functional compromises. Decisions of whether or when surgery should be undertaken are challenging in the absence of a dense neurological deficit, and vary by institutional experience. Further, the optimum time for surgery, to give the best language and cognitive outcome, is not yet well understood. Immunomodulatory treatments seem to slow rather than halt disease progression in Rasmussen's encephalitis, without changing the eventual outcome.
The Lancet Neurology 02/2014; 13(2):195-205. · 23.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Most patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and many with NMO spectrum disorder have autoantibodies against aquaporin-4 (AQP4-Abs), but recently, myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies (MOG-Abs) have been found in some patients. Here, we showed that patients with NMO/NMOSD with MOG-Abs demonstrate differences when compared with patients with AQP4-Abs. OBJECTIVE To characterize the features of patients with NMO/NMOSD with MOG-Abs and compare them with patients with AQP4-Ab-positive NMO/NMOSD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This observational study was conducted at a single UK specialist center for NMO. Patients with a first demyelinating event between January 1, 2010, and April 1, 2013, seen within the Oxford NMO service and who tested positive for MOG-Abs or AQP4-Abs were included in the study. EXPOSURE Cell-based assays using C-terminal-truncated human MOG and full-length M23-AQP4 were used to test patient serum samples for AQP4-Abs and MOG-Abs. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Demographic, clinical, and disability data, and magnetic resonance imaging findings. RESULTS Twenty AQP4-Ab-positive patients and 9 MOG-Ab-positive patients were identified. Most patients in both groups were white. Ninety percent of AQP4-Ab-positive patients but only 44% MOG-Ab-positive patients were females (P = .02) with a trend toward older age at disease onset in AQP4-Ab-positive patients (44.9 vs 32.3 years; P = .05). MOG-Ab-positive patients more frequently presented with simultaneous/sequential optic neuritis and myelitis (44% vs 0%; P = .005). Onset episode severity did not differ between the 2 groups, but patients with MOG-Abs had better outcomes from the onset episode, with better recovery Expanded Disability Status Scale scores and a lower risk for visual and motor disability. Myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-positive patients were more likely to have conus involvement on spinal magnetic resonance imaging (75% vs 17%; P = .02) and involvement of deep gray nuclei on brain magnetic resonance imaging (P = .03). Cerebrospinal fluid characteristics were similar in the 2 groups. A higher proportion of AQP4-Ab-positive patients relapsed (40% vs 0%; P = .03) despite similar follow-up durations. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Despite the fact that patients with MOG-Abs can fulfill the diagnostic criteria for NMO, there are differences when compared with those with AQP4-Abs. These include a higher proportion of males, younger age, and greater likelihood of involvement of the conus and deep gray matter structures on imaging. Additionally, patients with MOG-Abs had more favorable outcomes. Patients with AQP4-Ab-negative NMO/NMOSD should be tested for MOG-Abs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Limbic encephalitis (LE) associated with antibodies to the voltage-gated potassium channel complex (VGKC) is a potentially reversible cause of cognitive impairment. Despite the prominence of cognitive dysfunction in this syndrome, little is known about patients' neuropsychological profile at presentation or their long-term cognitive outcome.
We used a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery to evaluate cognitive function longitudinally in 19 patients with VGKC-LE.
Before immunotherapy, the group had significant impairment of memory, processing speed and executive function, whereas language and perceptual organisation were intact. At follow-up, cognitive impairment was restricted to the memory domain, with processing speed and executive function having returned to the normal range. Residual memory function was predicted by the antibody titre at presentation.
The results show that, despite broad cognitive dysfunction in the acute phase, patients with VGKC-LE often make a substantial recovery with immunotherapy but may be left with permanent anterograde amnesia.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 01/2014; · 4.87 Impact Factor