Neurological Syndromes Associated with Anti-GAD Antibodies

Maëlle Dade, Giulia Berzero, Cristina Izquierdo, Marine Giry, Marion Benazra, Jean-Yves Delattre, Dimitri Psimaras, Agusti Alentorn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is an intracellular enzyme whose physiologic function is the decarboxylation of glutamate to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the main inhibitory neurotransmitter within the central nervous system. GAD antibodies (Ab) have been associated with multiple neurological syndromes, including stiff-person syndrome, cerebellar ataxia, and limbic encephalitis, which are all considered to result from reduced GABAergic transmission. The pathogenic role of GAD Ab is still debated, and some evidence suggests that GAD autoimmunity might primarily be cell-mediated. Diagnosis relies on the detection of high titers of GAD Ab in serum and/or in the detection of GAD Ab in the cerebrospinal fluid. Due to the relative rarity of these syndromes, treatment schemes and predictors of response are poorly defined, highlighting the unmet need for multicentric prospective trials in this population. Here, we reviewed the main clinical characteristics of neurological syndromes associated with GAD Ab, focusing on pathophysiologic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 24 2020


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