Current and future immunotherapy targets in autoimmune neurology

Melody Y. Hu, Panos Stathopoulos, Kevin C. O'connor, Sean J. Pittock, Richard J. Nowak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Randomized controlled treatment trials of autoimmune neurologic disorders are generally lacking and data pertaining to treatment are mostly derived from expert opinion, large case series, and anecdotal reports. The treatment of autoimmune neurologic disorders comprises oncologic therapy (where appropriate) and immunotherapy. In this chapter, we first describe the standard acute and chronic immunotherapies and provide a practical overview of their use in the clinic (mechanisms of action, dosing, monitoring, and side effects). Novel approaches to treatment of autoimmune neurologic disorders, through new drug discovery or repurposing, are dependent on improved mechanistic understanding of immunopathology. Such approaches, with emphasis on monoclonal antibodies, are discussed using the paradigm of three autoimmune neurologic disorders whose immunopathogenesis is better understood, specifically myasthenia gravis, neuromyelitis optica, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy. It is important to realize that the treatment strategy and management plan must be individualized for each patient. In general these are influenced by the following: clinical severity, antibody type, presence or absence of cancer, and prior treatment response, if known.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAutoimmune Neurology, 2016
EditorsSean J. Pittock, Angela Vincent
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780444634320
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHandbook of Clinical Neurology
ISSN (Print)0072-9752
ISSN (Electronic)2212-4152


  • Autoimmunity
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
  • Immunopathology
  • Immunosuppressive therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Neuromyelitis optica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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