Intravenous immunoglobulin and rituximab for cerebellar ataxia with glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies

Cerebellum. 2014 Jun;13(3):318-22. doi: 10.1007/s12311-013-0534-3.


Cerebellar ataxia associated with glutamic acid decarboxylase autoantibodies (GAD-ab) is a rare and usually slow progressive disease with moderate to severe gait and limb ataxia, dysarthria, and nystagmus. The treatment for this condition is still being discussed. We report the cases of three patients with GAD-ab cerebellar ataxia treated successively with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) and rituximab. Symptoms improved in one case after rituximab therapy and were stabilized in another after a combined therapy of IVIg and rituximab. The third patient continued to worsen despite these treatments. We conclude that IVIg and rituximab therapy could improve or stabilize GAD-ab cerebellar ataxia. Early treatment, the lack of cerebellar atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging, and a subacute onset of the symptoms could be decisive prognostic factors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / therapeutic use*
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / complications
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / diagnosis
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / drug therapy*
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / immunology
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous
  • Rituximab
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase