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Ann Neurol. 1985 Mar;17(3):243-54.

Polyneuropathy and IgM monoclonal gammopathy: studies on the pathogenetic role of anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein antibody.


Attention has recently been directed toward patients having a polyneuropathy and a monoclonal IgM anti-myelin-associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG) antibody. The possibility of a pathogenetic role for the anti-MAG antibody in the evolution of the polyneuropathy and in the development of central nervous system signs, including tremor and ataxia, remains unresolved. In 5 patients with this syndrome whose clinical courses were followed closely, in 1 of whom a complete postmortem examination of the nervous system was performed, we made the following observations: the anti-MAG antibody did not localize to the compact layer of the myelin sheath in affected nerves, but did localize to areas of myelin splitting; anti-MAG antibody present in the sural nerve of an affected individual for 7 years was not associated with progressive pathology; anti-MAG antibody was not deposited in the central nervous system of an affected individual, although the antibody did bind to these same tissues in vitro; deposition of anti-MAG antibody observed at postmortem examination did not correlate with the degree of pathological change; and study of the peripheral nervous system favored a primary axonal neuropathy with secondary demyelination.

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