Autoimmune movement disorders

Personalized treatment
for each patient

Given the variety of movement phenomena and disorders, treatment protocols should be individualized for each patient and reflect symptom severity, the type of antibody identified, and the presence or absence of cancer. In addition to oncologic therapy (when appropriate), treatment often involves immunotherapy and symptomatic therapy. Often, early-initiated immunotherapy gives patients the best possible outcomes.


Learn more about the world’s first evidence-based test to confirm the presence of Kelch-like protein 11 (KLHL11) autoantibodies.

Stiff-person spectrum disorders

Learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ pioneering Stiff Person Spectrum Disorders evaluation, the first commercially available evaluation of its kind to tests for all relevant biomarkers for stiff-person spectrum disorders.

By the numbers


of autoimmune cerebellar
ataxia is paraneoplastic.


of autoimmune cerebellar ataxia patients improve with immunotherapy.

When to consider testing

Consider autoimmune testing for patients presenting with a new-onset movement disorder and one or more of the following:

  • Fluctuating course
  • Psychiatric accompaniments (psychosis, hallucinations)
  • Headache
  • Autoimmune stigmata (e.g., physical signs or personal/family history of diabetes, thyroid disorder, vitiligo, prematurely gray hair, myasthenia gravis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus)
  • History of cancer
  • Smoking history (20+ pack years) or other cancer risk factors
  • Inflammatory cerebrospinal fluid
  • Neuroimages suggesting inflammation (signal abnormality, limbic or extra-temporal)
  • Prior treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors

Patients with autoimmune neurologic disorders may present with multiple movement phenomena, many of which can resemble neurodegenerative disorders, such as Huntington disease. These disorders can manifest in conjunction with autoimmune encephalitic diseases, neoplasms, or infections, or they can be completely idiopathic.

Key testing

Phenotypic evaluations

Our autoimmune movement disorder evaluation is part of an evolving approach to testing for autoimmune neurological disorders using phenotypic-specific evaluations that include multiple antibodies known for their disease association.

One test, multiple targets: Zeroing in on autoimmune movement disorders

A movement disorder like this might be caused by the body’s immune system, which is meant to fight infections, suddenly attacking the brain. Fortunately, an “autoimmune movement disorder” can often be treated — once its cause is discovered.

Learn more about how to order this evaluation at your institution.

Additional resources

Webinar: Autoimmune movement disorders

This "Specialty Testing Webinar," presented by Andrew McKeon, M.B, B.Ch., M.D., discusses the spectrum of autoimmune movement disorders and explores diagnosis and treatment.