Two patients with clinical and radiological evidence of limbic encephalitis associated with an invasive lymphoepithelial thymoma who improved after thymectomy and radiotherapy are reported. The serum of both patients and the CSF of one of them contained different types of antibodies that immunoreacted with human and rat brain and newborn rat thymus. After treatment of the tumour, the antibody titres decreased. Similar antibodies were not found in various controls. Two out of 16 patients with thymoma, myasthenia gravis, and no CNS involvement had low titres of antibodies reacting with the brain. It is suggested that in some patients with thymoma, an autoimmune reaction involving antigens common to the brain and thymus is possibly misdirected against the CNS.
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