Purpose: Temporal lobe epilepsy with antibodies (abs) against the glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 isoform (GAD-TLE) is known as an immune-mediated neurological syndrome. Here we evaluate the therapy response to various immunotherapies and epilepsy surgery in this syndrome.
Method: All patients with GAD-TLE and follow-up data and stored serum and CSF samples, identified and treated at the Bonn centre from 2002 to 2010, were studied retrospectively. Seizure freedom for ≥1 year and reduction of ≥50%, i.e. therapy response, were assessed. GAD-ab titres and neuropsychological performances were documented prior and after individual interventions.
Results: Thirteen patients with GAD-TLE were identified with the following seizure responses: corticosteroids (5 responders out of 11 treated patients); i.v. immunoglobulins (1/5), apheresis therapy (1/8); and natalizumab (1/1), selective amygdala-hippocampectomy (2/3). None of the patients achieved sustained seizure freedom apart from one patient. This patient was on antiepileptic drug treatment after discontinuation of immunotherapy.
Conclusion: The seizure response to immunotherapies in patients with GAD-TLE was poor. Corticosteroids were the most effective regarding seizure response. Especially the poor effects of apheresis therapies support the idea that GAD-abs are not directly pathogenic. None of three patients was seizure-free after temporal lobe surgery suggesting that GAD-TLE patients respond worse than others to this type of intervention. Our results reflect the chronic course of the disease with low likelihood for patients with GAD-TLE to attain long-term seizure freedom.
Keywords: Autoimmune epilepsy; GAD-abs; Temporal lobe epilepsy.
Copyright © 2015 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.