Cerebellar ataxia associated with anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies: a case report

  • Silvia Maria VillaEmail author
  • Alessandra Rufa
  • Alessandro Malandrini
  • Alfonso Cerase
  • Francesca Rosini
  • Umberto Arrigucci
  • Antonio Federico
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) autoantibodies have been first described in patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) and then found to be associated with several neurological syndromes including cerebellar ataxia [1]. These antibodies are usually directed against the 65 kDa isoform of the enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65), which produces gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) from glutamate in the nerve terminals. In the cerebellum, anti-GAD antibodies impair the GABA-synthesis in the cerebellar basket and stellate cells leading to a reduced inhibitory GABAergic postsynaptic transmission from Purkinje cells [2].

Case report

A 39-year-old man from Cameroon was referred to our attention in January 2017 for a 3-year history of difficulties in fine movement and coordination on the right hand and leg, followed by postural and gait instability, dizziness, and nausea. He had no medical history and denied use of drugs, alcohol, or particular diet habits. Family history...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

The authors declare that the study has been performed in accordance with ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neurosciences, University of Siena. Unit of Neurology and Neurometabolic DisordersAzienda Ospedaliera Universitaria SeneseSienaItaly
  2. 2.Neuroimaging and Neurointervention Unit, Department of Neurological and Sensorineural SciencesAzienda Ospedaliera Universitaria SeneseSienaItaly

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