Author(s): Butler MH, Hayashi A, Ohkoshi N, Villmann C, Becker CM,
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Abstract Stiff-Man syndrome (SMS) is a rare disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by chronic rigidity, spasms, and autoimmunity directed against synaptic antigens, most often the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD). In a subset of cases, SMS has an autoimmune paraneoplastic origin. We report here the identification of high-titer autoantibodies directed against gephyrin in a patient with clinical features of SMS and mediastinal cancer. Gephyrin is a cytosolic protein selectively concentrated at the postsynaptic membrane of inhibitory synapses, where it is associated with GABA(A) and glycine receptors. Our findings provide new evidence for a close link between autoimmunity directed against components of inhibitory synapses and neurological conditions characterized by chronic rigidity and spasms.
This article was published in Neuron
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports