Objectives - To determine whether anti-GM1 antibodies are increased in Parkinson's disease (PD). Methods - Serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG anti-GM1 antibodies were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 147 patients with PD and in 186 age-matched normal control subjects. Sera were assayed at initial dilution of 1:800 for IgM and 1:200 for IgG and were considered positive at absorbance values exceeding the value of 0.05 for IgM and 0.1 for IgG. Results - Forty patients with PD (27.2%) had sera positive for IgM anti-GM1 antibodies, whereas only five normal controls (2.7%) resulted positive (P < 0.0001). Most of patients (75%) with positive sera had a tremor-dominant form of PD. Only two patients with PD (1.4%) and none of normal controls had sera positive for IgG anti-GM1 antibodies. Conclusion - A consistent portion of parkinsonians, mainly with a tremor-dominant form of PD, may have increased circulating IgM anti-GM1 antibodies.
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