Author(s): McCombe PA, Wilson R, Prentice RL
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Abstract We used an ELISA technique to measure IgG and IgM antibodies to the ganglioside GM1, with the results expressed in arbitrary units. We tested 1007 sera from patients with peripheral neuropathy or muscle weakness. For IgG and IgM antibodies, the distribution of results differed significantly from a normal distribution. In the patient group, 81 of 1007 sera had elevated levels of IgG antibodies (> 10 units). Of these, 11 patients had very high levels (> 50 units). These 11 patients had diagnoses of GBS (4), motor neurone disease (3) or non-specific idiopathic neuropathy (4). For IgM antibodies, 115 of 1007 sera were positive (> 20 units). Of these, 18 patients had very high levels (> 50 units). These 18 patients had diagnoses of Guillain-Barré syndrome or Miller Fisher syndrome (4), multifocal motor neuropathy (4), motor neurone disease (2), non-specific neuropathy (2). We conclude that anti-GM1 antibodies in high titre are uncommon. Patients with multifocal motor neuropathy have high levels of antibody. However, patients with other disorders may also have high levels, so that anti-GM1 antibody levels alone are not a specific test for multifocal motor neuropathy. We found that antibodies to GM1 were present in the sera of patients with chronic idiopathic neuropathy, leading us to suggest that these antibodies may sometimes arise as a secondary response to disease. Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
This article was published in J Clin Neurosci
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation