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Immunoglobulin treatment in human and experimental epilepsy.
  1. B G van Engelen,
  2. W O Renier,
  3. C M Weemaes
  1. Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


    The relationship between human immunoglobulin administration, and human and experimental epilepsy was investigated by reviewing the literature as well as the authors' clinical and experimental studies. The focus was: 1) the possible efficacy of IVIg; 2) the possibility that IVIg significantly increases CSF IgG and could reach the brain, and 3) the interaction between the IVIg preparation and epilepsy. There is still no formal proof of efficacy of IVIg treatment in epilepsy. However, the clinical data presented suggests that IVIg is likely to be effective in a subgroup of patients with intractable and epilepsy, and may be considered as a safe add-on medication in various types of idiopathic and symptomatic intractable epilepsy. From the authors' study on cerebrospinal fluid IgG concentrations before and after IVIg treatment in patients with epilepsy, it is concluded that the main component of the IVIg preparation (the IgG molecule) crosses the blood-CSF barrier, significantly increases CSF IgG concentration, and may reach the brain and act centrally. From a review of previous reports and two immunological studies carried out by the authors it is concluded that immunogenetic mechanisms may play a role in triggering or maintaining some types of epilepsy. In view of this, IVIg could act on epilepsy by its broad immunomodulatory mechanism of action. In addition, preliminary data are reported that contribute to the hypothesis that IVIg may have a direct neuromodulating effect.

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