Autoantibodies to glutamic acid decarboxylase in palatal myoclonus and epilepsy

Ann Neurol. 1994 Oct;36(4):665-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.410360419.


We report the presence of serum autoantibodies directed against glutamic acid decarboxylase in a patient with epilepsy and palatal myoclonus not associated with brain lesions. Glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody reactivity was dependent on the presence of carboxy-terminal amino acids, similar to that reported in patients with stiff-man syndrome. Marked reduction in the frequency of epileptic attacks and improvement in palatal myoclonus occurred when benzodiazepine was administered and phenytoin was gradually tapered. Testing for anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies may be indicated in patients with palatal myoclonus and with convulsive disorders refractory to therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies / analysis*
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / enzymology*
  • Epilepsy, Complex Partial / immunology*
  • Female
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Myoclonus / enzymology*
  • Myoclonus / immunology*
  • Palate, Soft*


  • Antibodies
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase