A rapidly evolving subspecialty
Recognized as a world leader in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune neurologic disorders and demyelinating disease, Mayo Clinic mounts unmatched resources for uncovering novel syndromes, developing new diagnostic biomarkers and unique laboratory tests.
Autoimmune neurology is a rapidly evolving subspecialty driven by the discovery that the immune system can target virtually any structure within the central and peripheral nervous systems. These conditions manifest as disorders previously thought to be independent and unrelated.
For the spectrum of autoimmune neurological disorders, where an early and accurate diagnosis is paramount, our phenotype-specific testing approach to effectively diagnose and guide treatment for these patients is unparalleled.
A history of innovation and discovery
The Mayo Clinic Neuroimmunology Laboratory was the first to introduce comprehensive serological evaluations for the diagnosis of paraneoplastic neurologic autoimmune disorders, a group of disorders in which unusual neurologic signs and symptoms are the initial manifestations of cancer.
The laboratory continues to discover and clinically validate novel autoantibody profiles that inform neurological decision-making and guide the search for cancer.
Identifying the root cause can lead to a possible cure versus temporary relief. Early intervention may allow reversal of deficits in many patients and prevention of future disability. Antibody results may direct a targeted search for malignancy.
The Power of Discovery
Autoimmune neurological disorders can often be treated, sometimes with full restoration of function. However, because the symptoms mimic other conditions, autoimmune neurological disorders are frequently misdiagnosed, resulting in an irreversible loss of function.
In this month's "Hot Topic," Eoin Flanagan, M.B., B. Ch., discusses the important issue of autoimmune encephalitis misdiagnosis and identifies red flags that be useful in clinical practice to suggest alternative diagnoses and highlight antibodies that sometimes cause confusion.
In this month’s “Virtual Lecture” Eoin Flanagan, M.D., B.Ch., reviews how to diagnose autoimmune encephalitis, what to watch that may suggest a different diagnosis, discuss neural autoantibodies interpretation and putting test results into clinical context.
Education on this topic decreases misdiagnosis and the possibility of misinterpreting the comments provided by the reporting laboratories.
Ed Garber spent months in physical and neurological decline while a cohort of care providers and specialists searched for the root cause of his symptoms. That search for answers ended after testing by Mayo Clinic Laboratories gave them the confirmatory diagnosis they needed.
Divyanshu (Div) Dubey, M.B.B.S., describes Mayo Clinic Laboratories' new diagnostic test for CIDP, or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. The new test detects two antibodies — NF155 and CNTN1 — to enhance diagnosis and guide treatment decisions. Often misdiagnosed, CIDP is treatable if detected early.