Autoimmune encephalopathy caused by autoantibodies against neuronal cell-surface proteins in the brain is a newly discovered disease category associated with psychiatric disorders. Correct diagnosis of this condition relies on the detection of specific autoantibodies in the blood or cerebral spinal fluid in addition to the clinical presentations. The study aimed to understand the seroprevalence of selective anti-neuronal autoantibodies in our patients with schizophrenia. First, we screened for six anti-neuronal autoantibodies in an archived blood sample collected from patients with the first-episode schizophrenia. The six autoantibodies including antibodies against N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors 1 and 2, γ-butyric acid receptor type B1 (GABARB1), leucine-rich glioma inactivated-1 (LGI1) protein, and contactin-associated protein-like 2 (CASPR2) protein. A total of 78 plasma samples (46 males and 32 females) were investigated; however, no positive case was identified. In this second study, we screened anti-NMDA receptor autoantibodies in a blood sample of 234 patients with chronic schizophrenia (133 females and 101 males) including 48 patients defined as treatment resistance. None of this sample was detected as positive. The negative findings in this study suggest that the seroprevalence of autoantibodies against neuronal surface proteins might be low in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Autoimmune encephalopathy, Anti-neuronal autoantibodies, Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, First-episode schizophrenia, Chronic schizophrenia, Differential diagnosis