October 3, 2016 GABAB receptor encephalitis

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October 3, 2016

GABAB receptor encephalitis

In 2010, the first case series of 15 patients with autoantibodies directed against the neuronal surface GABAB receptor was published.1 All of these patients developed seizures in addition to memory loss and confusion consistent with limbic encephalitis. A 2013 case series described 17 patients who presented with limbic encephalitis.2 Of these patients, 10 had the same underlying neoplasm and a median age of 67.5 years at diagnosis; the other 10 were non-neoplastic cases and were younger with a median age of 39 years. Treatment of GABAB receptor encephalitis includes immunotherapy. A majority of patients improve after appropriate treatment.

  1. Lancaster E, Lai M, Peng X, et al. Antibodies to the GABA(B) receptor in limbic encephalitis with seizures: case series and characterisation of the antigen. Lancet Neurol 2010; 9: 67-76.
  2. Höftberger R., Titulaer M. J., Sabater L., Dome B., Rózsás A., Hegedus B. et al. Encephalitis and GABAB receptor antibodies: novel findings in a new case series of 20 patients. Neurology 2013; 81: 1500-1506. 

Submitted by Steve O'Donnell, MD, Department of Neurology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. O'Donnell is a member of the Resident and Fellow Section of Neurology.

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