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BACKGROUND: The syndrome of progressive encephalopathy with limb rigidity has been historically termed progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus (PERM) or stiff-person syndrome plus. METHODS: The case is presented of a previously healthy 28-year-old man with a rapidly fatal form of PERM developing over 2 months. RESULTS: Serum antibodies to both NMDA receptors (NMDAR) and glycine receptors (GlyR) were detected postmortem, and examination of the brain confirmed an autoimmune encephalomyelitis, with particular involvement of hippocampal pyramidal and cerebellar Purkinje cells and relative sparing of the neocortex. No evidence for an underlying systemic neoplasm was found. CONCLUSION: This case displayed not only the clinical features of PERM, previously associated with GlyR antibodies, but also some of the features associated with NMDAR antibodies. This unusual combination of antibodies may be responsible for the particularly progressive course and sudden death.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





439 - 443


Adult, Antibodies, Brain, Encephalomyelitis, Humans, Male, Muscle Rigidity, Myoclonus, Receptors, Glycine, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Spinal Cord