Synaptic pathology in autoimmune encephalitis (SYNABS)
The discovery of autoantibodies against synaptic antigens in the central nervous system (CNS) in patients with severe neuropsychiatric disorders was a breakthrough in neurology. As of today, more than 15 target molecules have been identified to which specific autoantibodies are directed each defining a subtype of disease. Importantly, these target antigens are all part of central synapses and are comprised of ionotropic and metabotrobic receptors (e.g. NMDA, Glycine and GABAB receptors) as well as adhesion and transsynaptic signaling molecules (e.g. LGI). This novel entity of CNS disorders has been termed “autoimmune encephalitis”. The underlying pathophysiology including the molecular interactions and the often detrimental impact of the antibodies on neurons, synapses, and consequently on network function are only partly understood. As a consequence, target-specific therapies are currently not available.
The initiative for a DFG Research Unit (RU) “Synaptic pathology in autoimmune encephalitis” (SYNABS) brings together clinician scientists in the field of antibody-mediated immunological disorders with basic scientists in the field of neurophysiology, molecular neurobiology, and neuroimmunology collectively investigating autoantibody-mediated pathology in the CNS. The aim of SYNABS is to elucidate the pathophysiology of autoimmune encephalitis in which autoantibodies are directed at synaptic targets.
Prof. Dr. med. Christian Geis Section Translational Neuroimmunology Jena University Hospital Department of Neurology Am Klinikum 1, 07747 Jena
Phone: +49 3641 9323413
Prof. Dr. med. Stefan Hallermann Carl-Ludwig-Institut für Physiologie Universität Leipzig Liebigstraße 27 04103 Leipzig