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Immunotherapy in a case of low titre GAD65 antibody-associated spectrum neurological disorders

Abstract

We present a rare case of low titre GAD65 antibody-associated autoimmune encephalitis and status epilepticus in a young woman. She initially presented with left arm dystonic movements, contractures and status epilepticus. Due to the concern of autoimmune encephalitis and seizures, the patient received intravenous immunoglobulin empirically. After the detection of low serum GAD65 antibodies, the patient underwent immunomodulation therapy with significant improvement. This case demonstrated that in autoimmune encephalitis, it is important to monitor serum GAD65 antibodies levels and consider immunotherapy, despite mildly elevated serum levels. The patient’s history of left arm dystonic movements without impaired awareness may have been due to limb dystonia, a presenting symptom of stiff person syndrome (SPS), despite SPS more commonly affecting axial muscles. This case further demonstrates that GAD65 antibody-related syndromes can manifest with different neurological phenotypes including co-occurrence of epilepsy with possible focal SPS despite low GAD65 antibodies titres.

  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Neuroimaging
  • Immunology
  • Autoimmunity

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