Screening for glycine receptor autoantibodies is used to investigate patients with suspected Stiff Person Syndrome and in particular progressive stiffness and myoclonus (PERM) encephalomyelitis.
This test determines whether the sample contains glycine receptor autoantibodies (GlyR). In most cases the antibodies bind to the glycine alpha 1 receptor (GlyRalfa1), an antigen with a molecular weight of 53 kDa. The presence of these antibodies is particularly associated with progressive stiffness and myoclonus encephalomyelitis and Stiff Person Syndrome. In less than 10% of cases, patients with autoantibodies against the glycine receptor showed an association with cancers and paraneoplastic syndrome. The types of cancer most often associated with the presence of antibodies against the glycine receptor are thymoma and Hodgkin's disease.
The glycine receptor is a neurotransmitter glycine receptor, which is an amino acid. The glycine receptor is one of the most important postsynaptic inhibitors of the central nervous system. The glycine receptor consists of five subunits, arranged around a central pore.