Theranostics 2022; 12(7):3045-3056. doi:10.7150/thno.72126 This issue


Autoantibodies targeting neuronal proteins as biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases

Gabriela Kocurova1, Jan Ricny1, Saak V. Ovsepian2✉

1. Experimental Neurobiology Program, National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic.
2. Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Greenwich London, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Kocurova G, Ricny J, Ovsepian SV. Autoantibodies targeting neuronal proteins as biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases. Theranostics 2022; 12(7):3045-3056. doi:10.7150/thno.72126. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) are associated with the accumulation of a range of misfolded proteins across the central nervous system and related autoimmune responses, including the generation of antibodies and the activation of immune cells. Both innate and adaptive immunity become mobilized, leading to cellular and humoral effects. The role of humoral immunity in disease onset and progression remains to be elucidated with rising evidence suggestive of positive (protection, repair) and negative (injury, toxicity) outcomes. In this study, we review advances in research of neuron-targeting autoantibodies in the most prevalent NDDs. We discuss their biological origin, molecular diversity and changes in the course of diseases, consider their relevance to the initiation and progression of pathology as well as diagnostic and prognostic significance. It is suggested that the emerging autoimmune aspects of NDDs not only could facilitate the early detection but also might help to elucidate previously unknown facets of pathobiology with relevance to the development of precision medicine.

Keywords: Fluid biomarkers, autoimmunity, dementia, differential diagnosis, immunoglobins