Autoimmune epilepsy

Michel Toledano, Sean J. Pittock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Seizures are recognized as a common manifestation of autoimmune limbic encephalitis and multifocal paraneoplastic disorders, but accumulating evidence supports an autoimmune basis for seizures in the absence of syndromic manifestations of encephalitis. Autoimmune encephalitis and epilepsy have been linked to neural-specific autoantibodies targeting both intracellular and plasma membrane antigens. The detection of these antibodies can serve as a diagnostic marker directing physicians toward specific cancers and can assist in therapeutic decision-making, but are not necessary to establish the diagnosis. Response to an immunotherapy trial can support the diagnosis and help establish prognosis. Early recognition is important because expedited diagnosis can facilitate recovery. In this review, the authors summarize the clinical presentation, pathophysiology, and management of autoimmune epilepsies for which neural antigen-specific autoantibodies serve as diagnostic aids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-258
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 12 2015


  • antibodies
  • autoimmune
  • epilepsy
  • inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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