Neuroinflammation can damage the brain and plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of epilepsy. Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 4 (TIMP4) is an inflammation-induced apoptosis and matrix turnover factor involved in several neuronal disorders and inflammatory diseases. Evidence has shown linkage disequilibrium between rs3755724 (-55C/T) of this gene with synapsin 2 (SYN2) rs3773364 and peroxisome proliferator-activated G receptor (PPARG) rs2920502 loci, which contribute to epilepsy in Caucasians. The aim of this study was to examine the association of these loci alone or their haplotypes with the risk of epilepsy in the Malaysian population. Genomic DNA of 1241 Malaysian Chinese, Indian, and Malay subjects (670 patients with epilepsy and 571 healthy individuals) was genotyped for the candidate loci by using the Sequenom MassArray method. Allele and genotype association of rs3755724 with susceptibility to epilepsy was significant in the Malaysian Chinese with focal epilepsy under codominant and dominant models (C vs. T: 1.5 (1.1-2.0), p=0.02; CT vs. TT: 1.8 (1.2-2.8), p=0.007 and 1.8 (1.2-2.7), p=0.006, respectively). The T allele and the TT genotype were more common in patients than in controls. No significant association was found between rs2920502 and rs3773364-rs3755724-rs2920502 haplotypes for susceptibility to epilepsy in each ethnicity. This study provides evidence that the promoter TIMP4 rs3755724 is a new focal epilepsy susceptibility variant that is plausibly involved in inflammation-induced seizures in Malaysian Chinese.
Given their localization and important role in regulating complement, complement regulatory proteins may act as target antigens and their antibodies as biomarkers in demyelinating neuropathies. We investigated the binding of autoantibodies to complement regulatory proteins (CD46, 55 and 59) in demyelinating diseases. In 42 acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, 23 chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, 13 acute motor axonal neuropathy, 71 multiple sclerosis, and 19 neuromyelitis optica patients as well as 55 healthy controls, we were unable to detect significant titers of antibodies to CD46, CD55 and CD59. These autoantibodies are unlikely to be biomarkers in acute and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies.
Thymoma is associated with a wide spectrum of autoimmune paraneoplastic syndromes, though it is uncommon for multiple paraneoplastic syndromes to be present in a single individual. We report a rare case of an elderly gentleman who was found to have thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis and LGI1-encephalitis with myokymia, who presented with nephrotic syndrome (minimal change glomerulopathy) after thymectomy. The latter two paraneoplastic syndromes had manifested when prednisolone was tapered down to low dose. This case serves to remind neurologists that apart from paraneoplastic neurological manifestations, thymoma may also be associated with renal disease. Nephropathy in myasthenia patients with thymoma should be properly evaluated, as it is treatable with immunotherapy, and it may even occur post-thymectomy.
Tetraspanin family proteins, CD9, CD81 and CD82 are expressed in the oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. We investigated autoantibodies to tetraspanin proteins in patients with demyelinating diseases. Sera were collected from 119 multiple sclerosis patients, 19 neuromyelitis optica, 42 acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, 23 chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and 13 acute motor axonal neuropathy as well as 55 healthy controls. Few multiple sclerosis and acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy patients had autoantibodies that were weakly reactive to CD9 or CD81 but the significance is unclear. It is unlikely that these autoantibodies are pathogenic or serve as potential biomarkers in demyelinating diseases.
NMDAR encephalitis may be more common among non-Caucasians. A population-based study was conducted to estimate its incidence in Sabah, Malaysia, where the population consists predominantly of Austronesians (84%), and with a Chinese minority. Registries of NMDAR encephalitis at neurology referral centers were reviewed for case ascertainment. The annual incidence was 2.29/million (Austronesians: 2.56/million, Chinese: 1.31/million). Among pediatric population, the incidence was: Austronesians: 3.63/million, Chinese: 2.59/million. Our study demonstrated a higher incidence of NMDAR encephalitis among Austronesians than the predominantly Caucasian populations in Europe (0.5-0.9/million; pediatric: 0.7-1.5/million). Racial and genetic factors may contribute to risks of developing NMDAR encephalitis.
Immune system dysregulation may be involved in schizophrenia, but biomarker studies have thus far reported inconsistent findings. The relationship of plasma levels of complement markers C3 and C4, with schizophrenia, sociodemographic and clinico-psychological factors were here studied in 183 patients and 212 controls. C3 and C4 levels were significantly higher in the patients and in subjects with elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), and positively correlated with body mass index (BMI) (p