Neuroimmunology looks at the interaction of the immune system and the nervous system (the nerves and brain). A lot of the conditions seen in this clinic are caused by antibodies, which are proteins naturally produced by the immune system. Normally antibodies are produced by a person’s immune system to fight against harmful bacteria or viruses, however sometimes the immune system can produce harmful antibodies, which may start to attack the nervous system, causing the sufferer to become unwell. Neuroimmmunological diseases can also be secondary to underlying tumours or its treatments.
Some of the conditions seen in this clinic include:
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Stiff Person Syndrome
- Autoimmune Encephalitis
- Neuromyelitis Optica
- Paraneoplastic syndromes
- Susac’s disease
The conditions seen are generally treatable, using immune suppression, including treatments such as steroids, steroid sparing agents or antibody infusion therapies. Other therapies such as immunoglobulin infusions and plasma exchange may also be used.
The clinic takes place every Monday morning and is run by two neuroimmunology consultants (Dr Jacob and Dr Sadalage) and a clinical nurse specialist. There may also be specialist registrars or clinical research fellows present in clinic as well. Due to the consultants’ specialist knowledge, referrals are received from throughout the West Midlands and nationally.
The neuroimmunology team are also regularly involved in research, assisting to trial new treatments for rare conditions, which can be difficult to treat.
Last reviewed: 07 June 2023