In recent years, there has been accumulating evidence to support an autoimmune etiology for some patients with drug-resistant seizures, typically in the context of an antibody-mediated encephalopathy; any seizure disorder that may be caused by pathogenic autoantibodies, are an example of autoimmune epilepsy. Autoimmunity is characterized by loss of immune tolerance that causes the destruction of cells and tissues. The largest complex histocompatibility system has had a strong association with autoimmune disease, although certain genes encoding cytokines and co-stimulatory molecules increase genetic susceptibility. In spite of having scientific advances in this research area, the conditions underlying mechanisms are unknown.Goal: this chapter aims to present in synthesized form, the genetic, immunological, and environmental factors role in the autoimmunity to epilepsy, as well as the therapeutic approach that has been used to control seizures, mainly where there is a suspected anti-neuronal-antibodies circulation. Methods: a review of the work achieved during the last years in patients with this condition provides information and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of this epilepsy type. For this, a systematic search of PUBMED is conducted using the search terms “autoimmune and epilepsy, auto antibodies and epilepsy, NMDA and epilepsy, AMPA and epilepsy, and GAD and epilepsy.” The list of identified articles was complemented by additional searches for relevant articles in the reference section of the publications captured by the initial search.
Part of the book: Seizures