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Epilepsia. 2010 Mar;51(3):473-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02287.x. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Adult-onset drug-refractory seizure disorder associated with anti-voltage-gated potassium-channel antibody.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology Section, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-1207, USA.


Voltage-gated potassium channels are widely expressed throughout the entire nervous system. These channels play a critical role in establishing the resting membrane potential and generation of neuronal action potentials. There is mounting evidence that autoantibodies reactive to neuronal cell surface antigens, such as voltage-gated potassium channels, play a pathogenic role in a wide spectrum of central and peripheral nervous system disorders. We report a case of new-onset drug-refractory seizure disorder associated with the presence of high levels of serum anti-voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies that responded only to immunotherapy. As demonstrated by this case report, anti-voltage-gated potassium channel antibody associated drug-refractory seizure disorder, although rare, should be considered in patients with unexplained adult-onset seizure activity. Once the diagnosis has been established the initiation of immunotherapy should be undertaken without delay.

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