Inflammatory neuropathies of the peripheral nervous system are characterized by numerous clinical symptoms, which can range from mild fatigue and uncharacteristic discomfort to neuromuscular disorders and functional deficiencies, like respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
Autoantibodies against gangliosides occur in autoimmune diseases of the peripheral nervous system. Gangliosides are acidic glycolipids, comprised of a lipid (ceramide), an oligosaccharide chain and sialic acid.
Gangliosides are components of cell membranes and are particularly found in the central and peripheral nervous system.
These antibodies directly cause an inflammation or demyelinization of the myelin sheaths, therapy of autoimmune neuropathies is therefore based on immunoregulation.
This means that an accurate diagnosis is crucial for initiation of therapy.