Sleep disturbances associated with DPPX autoantibodies: a case series

Avi Gadoth, Michelle F. Devine, Sean J. Pittock, Andrew McKeon, W. Oliver Tobin, Thomas R. Gossard, Elena F.D. Cattaneo, Stuart J. McCarter, Erik K. St. Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objectives: To describe a case series of patients with prominent sleep disturbances and their polysomnography findings in six patients with dipeptidyl-peptidase-like protein-6 (DPPX) autoimmunity syndrome. Methods: Of 13 patients with DPPX autoimmunity evaluated at Mayo Clinic, 6 were seen by Sleep Medicine with polysomnography and were assessed with blood and cerebrospinal fluid, neuroimaging, neuropsychological testing, and evaluation tailored to clinical presentation. Results: Median age of our six DPPX autoimmunity patients was 57 (range 27–70) years, with one woman. All patients had prominent gastrointestinal disturbances, most with prominent and early weight loss, and a spectrum of neuropsychiatric disturbances including cognitive impairment, myoclonus, exaggerated startle, and dysautonomia. Sleep disturbances included insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea in six patients, periodic leg movements of sleep in four, and REM sleep behavior disorder in two. Polysomnography demonstrated REM sleep-atonia loss in four patients, and ambiguous sleep with status dissociatus (mixed features of wakefulness, non-rapid eye movement [NREM], and REM sleep) appeared in one patient. Five of six patients showed neurological improvement with immunotherapy, including three with at least partial improvement in sleep disturbances. Conclusion: Our patients with DPPX autoimmunity syndrome had prominent sleep disturbances including sleep-disordered breathing, REM sleep behavior disorder, and abnormal NREM sleep architecture with highly variable clinical presentations. DPPX autoimmunity should be considered in cases with a triad of sleep disturbance, neurological features of hyperexcitability, and systemic symptoms of gastrointestinal disturbance and weight loss. Future prospective studies of DPPX autoimmunity syndrome including detailed sleep evaluation and follow-up are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3543-3552
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Apnea
  • Neurological autoimmunity
  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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