Autoimmune Epilepsy

  • Bethan Lang
  • Yvonne Hart
Reference work entry

Short Description

Autoimmune epilepsies are epileptic syndromes occurring in association with serum autoantibodies presumed to be responsible or partly responsible for the development of the syndrome. Some syndromes may also involve T-cell-mediated immunity.


A number of seizure-related syndromes have established autoimmune associations, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Hashimoto’s syndrome, Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE), and limbic encephalitis associated with voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA-R) antibodies. However, new epileptic syndromes continue to be identified in which autoimmunity appears to play a part. Epilepsies not conforming to these specific conditions include those seen in association with autoantibodies against targets such as glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), or other glutamate receptors. Although in some cases the antibodies may represent epiphenomena, where pathogenicity can be shown it may be...


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Coeliac Disease Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase Limbic Encephalitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Drs P. Waters, L. Zuliani (Department of Clinical Neurology), Dr O. Ansorge (Department of Neuropathology) of the University of Oxford and Dr C. D. Bien (University of Bonn, Germany) and Prof. J. Bauer (University of Vienna, Austria) for help in the preparation of the figures. BL is funded by Epilepsy Research UK (ERUK).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bethan Lang
    • 1
  • Yvonne Hart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical NeurologyWeatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of OxfordHeadley Way, Headington, OX3 9DUUK

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