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Arch Neurol. 2004 Jun;61(6):938-41.

Stiff-person syndrome following West Nile fever.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.



Stiff-person syndrome is a rare autoimmune disorder associated with antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the key enzyme in gamma-aminobutyric acid synthesis. In most cases, a trigger cannot be identified.


To describe a 41-year-old man who developed stiff-person syndrome and antibodies to GAD following acute West Nile virus infection.


A case report and a search in GenBank for common epitopes.


The search revealed a stretch of 12 amino acids in the NS1 protein of West Nile virus with a high degree of homology to the GAD65 region (an isoform of GAD) containing the PEVKEK motif.


Cross-reactivity between antibodies directed against West Nile virus and GAD may have contributed to the development of stiff-person syndrome in this patient.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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