Understanding the Utility of Specific Antibody Testing in Peripheral Neuropathies: Benjamin Claytor, MD

The assistant professor of neurology at Cleveland Clinic provided insight on the differences in ganglioside vs paranodal antibodies and their clinical use in various neuropathies. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"There are a couple of chronic neuropathies that are also associated with gangliosides, including multifocal motor neuropathy and chronic ataxic neuropathies. Neuropathy syndromes associated with paranodal antibodies are more likely to present like Guillain-Barré syndrome or CIDP, the chronic version of Guillain-Barré."

Several different autoimmune neuropathies can present with a broad range of symptoms, including subacute progression, asymmetric or multifocal deficits, and selective involvement of motor, sensory, or autonomic nerves. To distinguish and properly diagnose these neuropathies, clinicians have leaned on antibody testing, a utility that has significantly advanced in the past 2 decades. While they have a critical purpose, antibody testing can be complex, and requires technology capabilities and technicians with experience.

At the 2022 American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) annual meeting, September 21-24, in Nashville, Tennessee, Benjamin Claytor, MD, presented a talk on topics related to antibody testing in neuropathy, including some of the notable antibodies used in clinical practice and the limitations of certain antibodies. Specifically, he covered the roles of gangliosides—antibodies ubiquitously expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system—and paranodal antibodies, an area that has increasingly been reported in human demyelinating disorders.

Claytor, an assistant professor of neurology at Cleveland Clinic, sat down after the meeting to discuss his presentation, along with the differences in these antibodies. He explained the role of each in clinical settings, and whether treatment selection changes based on the antibodies being observed.

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