Objective sleep profile in LGI1/CASPR2 autoimmunity

Michelle F. Devine, John C. Feemster, Elizabeth A. Lieske, Stuart J. McCarter, David J. Sandness, Tyler Steele, Paul C. Timm, Jay Mandrekar, Bradley F. Boeve, Michael H. Silber, DIvyanshu Dubey, Andrew McKeon, Erik K. St. Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study Objectives: Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder (RBD) and other sleep disturbances are frequent in leucine-rich, glioma inactivated protein 1-IgG (LGI1) and contactin-associated protein 2-IgG (CASPR2) autoimmunity, yet polysomnographic analyses of these disorders remain limited. We aimed to characterize clinical presentations and analyze polysomnographic manifestations, especially quantitative REM sleep without atonia (RSWA) in LGI1/CASPR2-IgG seropositive (LGI/CASPR2+) patients. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical and polysomnographic features and quantitative RSWA between LGI1+/CASPR2+ patients and age-sex matched controls. Groups were compared with Wilcoxon rank-sum and chi-square tests. Combined submentalis and anterior tibialis (SM + AT) RSWA was the primary outcome. Results: Among 11 (LGI1+, n = 9; CASPR2+, n = 2) patients, Morvan syndrome sleep features were present in seven (63.6%) LGI1+/CASPR2+ patients, with simultaneous insomnia and dream enactment behavior (DEB) in three (27.3%), and the most common presenting sleep disturbances were DEB (n = 5), insomnia (n = 5), and sleep apnea (n = 8; median apnea-hypopnea index = 15/hour). Median Epworth Sleepiness Scale was nine (range 3-24; n = 10), with hypersomnia in four (36.4%). LGI1+/CASPR2+ patients had increased N1 sleep (p =. 02), decreased REM sleep (p =. 001), and higher levels of SM + AT any RSWA (p <. 001). Eight of nine (89%) LGI1+ exceeded RBD RSWA thresholds (DEB, n = 5; isolated RSWA, n = 3). RSWA was greater in AT than SM. All 10 LGI1+/CASPR2+ patients treated with immunotherapy benefitted, and 5/10 had improved sleep disturbances. Conclusions: LGI1/CASPR2-IgG autoimmunity is associated with prominent dream enactment, insomnia, RSWA, sleep apnea, and shallower sleep. Polysomnography provides objective disease markers in LGI1+/CASPR2+ autoimmunity and immunotherapy may benefit associated sleep disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberzsab297
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • CASPR2
  • LGI1
  • Morvan syndrome
  • REM behavioral disorder
  • autoimmune sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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