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BACKGROUND: The spectrum of autoimmune neurological diseases associated with voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC)-complex antibodies (Abs) ranges from peripheral nerve disorders to limbic encephalitis. Recently, low titers of VGKC-complex Abs have also been reported in neurodegenerative disorders, but their clinical relevance is unknown. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to explore the prevalence of VGKC-complex Abs in slow-progression motor neuron disease (MND). METHODS: We compared 11 patients affected by slow-progression MND with 9 patients presenting typical progression illness. Sera were tested for VGKC-complex Abs by radioimmunoassay. The distribution of VGKC-complex Abs was analyzed with the Mann-Whitney U test. RESULTS: The statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the mean values in the study and control groups. A case with long-survival MND harboring VGKC-complex Abs and treated with intravenous immunoglobulins is described. CONCLUSION: Although VGKC-complex Abs are not likely to be pathogenic, these results could reflect the coexistence of an immunological activation in patients with slow disease progression.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurodegener Dis

Publication Date





59 - 62


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Autoantibodies, Biomarkers, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Immunoglobulins, Intravenous, Immunologic Factors, Male, Middle Aged, Motor Neuron Disease, Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated, Retrospective Studies