Autoimmune Gliopathies and CNS Demyelinating Disease [Webinar]


Thursday, March 1, 2018
11 a.m.–Noon CT



Free for all participants.



This webinar will provide an overview of novel biomarker discoveries and advances being made in the study of autoimmune gliopathies. Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) spectrum disorders, considered under the umbrella term, “autoimmune aquaporin-4 channelopathy,” represent an evolving spectrum of central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory autoimmune demyelinating diseases for which a specific antigen has been identified—the astrocytic water channel protein called aquaporin-4 (AQP4). The discovery of AQP4-IgG represents a significant shift from emphasis on the oligodendrocyte and myelin to the astrocyte, and it was the first proven autoimmune gliopathy biomarker.

Continued progress in our understanding of the immunobiology of AQP4 autoimmunity necessitates continuing revision of the clinical diagnostic criteria for NMO spectrum disorders. As the clinical spectrum broadens, the importance of highly specific assays that detect pathogenic AQP4-IgG-targeting extracellular epitopes of AQP4 cannot be overemphasized. IgG-targeting myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), when detected using cell-based assays expressing recombinant MOG, is now recognized as a biomarker of an autoimmune oligodendrogliopathy (distinct from multiple sclerosis) considered an autoimmune “MOG-opathy.” Also, recently, our group reported a novel immunopathological biomarker, the GFAP antibody, which when detected in CSF, unifies a spectrum of immunotherapy-responsive autoimmune inflammatory CNS disorders termed, “autoimmune GFAP astrocytopathy” distinct from infectious meningoencephalitis and idiopathic inflammatory CNS disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, vasculitis, and sarcoidosis.


Photo of Sean Pittock, M.D.Sean Pittock, M.D.
Consultant, Neurology
Professor of Neurology, College of Medicine
Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the evolving spectrum of biomarker-defined inflammatory CNS demyelinating diseases.
  • Recognize the clinical utility of AQP4 and MOG antibody testing and the diagnostic and treatment implications of a positive test.
  • Discuss how improved knowledge of the immunopathologic mechanisms of disease has led to novel therapeutic approaches.


Intended Audience

This webinar is designed for any provider who sees patients with a neurologic disease (e.g., neurologists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, including internists and family care practitioners) as well as pathologists, laboratory directors, and laboratory sendout coordinators.



The following types of credit are offered for this event:
State of California
State of Florida

To obtain credit:

  1. Register for and participate in the program.
  2. Complete the post-test and evaluation that will be sent to you after the program.
  3. Generate and print your certificate(s).



Mayo Medical Laboratories is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program. This program has been approved for a maximum of 1.0 P.A.C.E® contact hour. Level of instruction for this program is intermediate.

State of California

Mayo Medical Laboratories is approved as a Continuing Education Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences for State of California credit. The level of instruction for this program is intermediate. This program has been approved for 1.0 contact hour.

State of Florida

Mayo Medical Laboratories is approved as a Continuing Education Accrediting Agency for the clinical laboratory sciences for the State of Florida. Florida Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel has designated this program for General credit. The level of instruction for this program is intermediate. This program has been approved for 1.0 contact hour.

Mayo Medical Laboratories is not an applicable manufacturer or applicable group purchasing organization (GPO). (GPOs, per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and this program do not trigger any reporting requirements pursuant to Open Payments [Sunshine Act] legislation.)


MML Education

This post was developed by our Education and Technical Publications Team.