Immunological reactivity against neuronal and non-neuronal antigens in sporadic adult-onset cerebellar ataxia

Roberto Fancellu, Davide Pareyson, Elena Corsini, Ettore Salsano, Matilde Laurà, Gaetano Bernardi, Carlo Antozzi, Francesca Andreetta, Maurizio Colecchia, Stefano Di Donato, Caterina Mariotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, the involvement of the immune system in acquired forms of cerebellar ataxia has been frequently demonstrated. In this study, we describe 6 out of 49 patients with subacute or chronic progressive cerebellar ataxia in whom antibodies against neuronal and non-neuronal antigens were identified. Two women had anti-Yo antibodies; two patients had anti-gliadin antibodies in the presence of celiac disease; one patient had a complex autoimmune disorder associated with anti-Ro-52/SS-A and anti-muscle-specific kinase antibodies, and a patient developed subacute cerebellar syndrome associated with the presence of a prostatic adenocarcinoma and atypical antibodies reacting both with cerebellar tissue and with the prostatic tumor. Our study confirms previous findings in paraneoplastic syndromes, and indicates that at least 10% of sporadic cerebellar ataxia may be related to immune-mediated mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-361
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Anti-muscle-specific kinase antibodies
  • Anti-Yo antibodies
  • Autoimmunity
  • Celiac disease
  • Onconeural antibodies
  • Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration
  • Prostatic adenocarcinoma
  • Sjögren syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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