We have analyzed the serum from patients with refractory epilepsy for the presence of autoreactive antibodies to AMPA glutamate receptor subunits. The presence and the level of autoantibodies were assessed using immunoblot and ELISA with synthetic peptides specific for subregions of AMPA glutamate receptor subunits. Patients with refractory epilepsy exhibited strong immunoreactivity to GluR1 subunit compared to healthy donors and patients with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Weak immunoreactivity to other AMPA glutamate receptor subunits was also detected and the signal was diminished in the raw GluR4>GluR3>GluR2. The occurrence of autoantibodies to specific neurotransmitter subunits in the sera of patients with refractory epilepsy suggest that autoimmune process may underlie this disorder.