The role of autoantibodies in epilepsy

Around 40% of adult patients with focal new-onset epilepsies have no known cause. These epilepsies are common, are characterised by frequent seizures and around 1 in 4 cases are not responsive to standard anti-epileptic medications.

Some people have an overactive immune system, where antibodies produced as part of the body’s defence against disease attach the body itself, leading to an autoimmune condition.

Dr Bethan Lang and colleagues at the University of Oxford are investigating the role of abnormal antibodies in epilepsy patients with no identified cause for their epilepsy. If autoantibodies are found to be an underlying cause of some focal epilepsies, this could offer a potentially treatable cause of epilepsy in that patient and in the longer-term, identification of antibody-associated forms of epilepsy will aid the treatment, diagnosis and classification of these epilepsies.

Read more about this research into the role of autoantibodies in epilepsy here.

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