Neurophysiologic studies in Morvan syndrome

Keith A. Josephs, Michael H. Silber, Robert D. Fealey, Todd B. Nippoldt, Raymond G. Auger, Steven Vernino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to clarify the clinical and neurophysiologic characteristics of patients with Morvan syndrome, and to compare and contrast this syndrome with other forms of autoimmune encephalitis. A retrospective chart review of the clinical features and neurophysiologic studies of two cases of Morvan syndrome seen at the Mayo Clinic was performed. Neurophysiologic studies included polysomnography, comprehensive autonomie testing, MRI, positron emission tomography, EEG, and single-photon emission computed tomography. In two cases of Morvan syndrome, the clinical features, electrophysiologic findings, and immunologic studies (high levels of voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies) were consistent with previously reported findings. Several novel observations were made. Autonomic testing demonstrated peripheral autonomie neuropathy in addition to autonomie hyperactivity. Polysomnography showed complete absence of sleep. Neuroimaging study findings were largely normal. Morvan syndrome is an autoimmune disorder affecting both the peripheral and central nervous system. Neurophysiologic studies demonstrate hyperexcitability of peripheral nerves, autonomie dysfunction, and severe insomnia. The absence of abnormalities on imaging studies suggests that central nervous system symptoms are related to functional rather than structural disruption of neural networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-445
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Insomnia
  • Morvan syndrome
  • Myokymia
  • Paraneoplastic limbic encephalopathy
  • Voltage-gated potassium channel antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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