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May 2000

Neuropathy, Heredity, and Monoclonal Gammopathy

Arch Neurol. 2000;57(5):641-642. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.5.641

IN THIS issue of the ARCHIVES, Manschot and coauthors1 describe 3 families with polyneuropathy associated with monoclonal gammopathy and anti–myelin-associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG) antibodies. The patients would have been assumed to have hereditary neuropathy if it were not for the IgM monoclonal gammopathies. The distinction is important because immune-mediated neuropathies are responsive to drug therapy, whereas hereditary neuropathies are not, and hereditary neuropathies can be passed on to future generations. Other than that, the article raises important issues regarding the diagnosis of hereditary and demyelinating neuropathies, the significance of monoclonal gammopathies and autoantibodies, and the genetics of lymphoproliferative and autoimmune diseases.

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