GAD65 neurological autoimmunity

Andrew McKeon, Jennifer A. Tracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The glutamic acid decarboxylase 65-kilodalton isoform (GAD65) antibody is a biomarker of autoimmune central nervous system (CNS) disorders and, more commonly, nonneurological autoimmune diseases. Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, and pernicious anemia are the most frequent GAD65 autoimmune associations. One or more of these disorders coexists in approximately 70% of patients with GAD65 neurological autoimmunity. Neurological phenotypes have CNS localization and include limbic encephalitis, epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia, and stiff-person syndrome (SPS), among others. Classic SPS is a disorder on the spectrum of CNS hyperexcitability which also includes phenotypes that are either more restricted (stiff-limb syndrome) or more widespread (progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus). GAD65 antibody is not highly predictive of a paraneoplastic cause for neurological disorders, but diverse cancer types have been occasionally reported. For all phenotypes, responses to immunotherapy are variable (approximately 50% improve). GAD65 autoimmunity is important to recognize for both coexisting nonneurological autoimmune associations and potential immunotherapy-response. Muscle Nerve 56: 15–27, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • GAD65
  • ataxia
  • autoimmune
  • neurological
  • stiff-person

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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