Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approach to Autoimmune Neurologic Disorders

A. Sebastian López-Chiriboga, MD; Eoin P. Flanagan, MD


Semin Neurol. 2018;38(3):392-402. 

In This Article


Autoimmune neurologic disorders are more common than previously thought. In addition to a comprehensive clinical evaluation, investigations (in particular neural autoantibody testing) are fundamental for diagnosis. The number of antibody biomarkers of autoimmune neurologic disorders is increasing, and the methodology for detecting them continues to improve. With early institution of immunotherapy, outcomes are better. Traditional immunotherapies are currently the mainstay of treatment, but randomized controlled studies are lacking. Improved knowledge of the pathophysiology of these disorders is allowing a more targeted treatment approach with the goal of improved efficacy and less adverse effects. However, immunotherapies are not without risk, and the treating neurologist should always be cognizant of the associated complications of long-term immunotherapy. Prospective trials of traditional and novel immunotherapies are needed to further define the best treatment approach to these potentially reversible disorders.