Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Limbic encephalitis is a potentially treatable immunological condition. The presence of voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies (VGKC-Ab) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum of patients with the condition is a marker of the disease associated with a non-paraneoplastic form and good response to treatment. Recent work has highlighted absent serum VGKC-Ab and distinct immunology in patients with the paraneoplastic form of limbic encephalitis. METHODS: The cases of four patients with the typical clinical presentation, neuropsychological features and brain imaging of acute limbic encephalitis, in the absence of any evidence for associated cancer during a follow-up of at least 18 months are described here. RESULTS: All patients had negative testing for VGKC-Ab measured during their acute presentation. All patients made some recovery, although they were left with marked cognitive deficits and persistent seizures. CONCLUSION: These cases demonstrate that the absence of VGKC-Ab in limbic encephalitis does not necessarily imply a paraneoplastic form. Further work is required to establish the immunological basis for the disorder in these patients, and the optimal treatment regimen.

Original publication




Journal article


J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry

Publication Date





391 - 394


Acute Disease, Adult, Antibodies, Cognition Disorders, Female, Humans, Limbic Encephalitis, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Paraneoplastic Syndromes, Potassium Channels, Voltage-Gated, Predictive Value of Tests, Seizures, Treatment Outcome