Autoimmune and paraneoplastic neurological disorders

Mayra Montalvo, Raffaele Iorio, Orna O'Toole, Sean J. Pittock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Autoimmune neurology is a rapidly emerging subspecialty that encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders with an autoimmune (paraneoplastic or noncancer associated) basis. Recently, there has been a dramatic rise in discoveries of neural-specific autoantibodies and their target antigens. Laboratory testing is now available for most of these neural-specific autoantibodies, which serve as diagnostic markers directing the physician toward specific cancer types and assisting in therapeutic decision-making. Autoimmune neurology intersects with many traditional neurological subspecialties including cognitive behavioral neurology, movement disorders, epilepsy, neurooncology, neuromuscular disorders, autonomic neurology, and demyelinating disorders. Antibodies targeting intracellular proteins (nuclear and intracytoplasmic enzymes, transcription factors, RNA-binding proteins) serve as markers of neural peptide-specific cytotoxic effector T-cell-mediated injury and are generally poorly responsive to immunotherapy. In contrast, antibodies targeting plasma membrane proteins (neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels, water channels, channel complex proteins) may act as pathogenic effectors and elicit greater response to immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of Brain Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationBiological Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders, Second Edition
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9780323856546
ISBN (Print)9780323898256
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Antigen
  • Aquaporin
  • Autoantibody
  • Autoimmune
  • Cancer
  • Encephalitis
  • Immunotherapy
  • NMDA
  • Paraneoplastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Autoimmune and paraneoplastic neurological disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this