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Antibodies to GM1: galactocerebroside complexes in multifocal motor neuropathy: it takes two to tango
  1. Hugh J Willison,
  2. Francesc Galban-Horcajo,
  3. Susan K Halstead
  1. Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Hugh J Willison, Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, Room B330, 120 University Place, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8TA, UK; Hugh.Willison{at}glasgow.ac.uk

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In the mid-1980s, Pestronk reported the first cases of multifocal motor neuropathy to be associated with serum anti-monosialoganglioside (GM1) IgM antibodies.1 The potential importance of an easily measurable antibody as a biomarker for this diagnostically challenging but treatable neurological disorder was rapidly recognised. Subsequently, an extensive literature has emerged on the usefulness of anti-GM1 antibody testing in clinical practice and on its relationship to multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) pathogenesis. The conventional ELISA sensitivity is currently considered to be around 50%; perhaps as a result of this rather poor performance, many clinicians pay scant notice to a positive or negative result, preferring to use clinical judgment and electrophysiological assessment as the …

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