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Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to herpes simplex (HSV) and measles viruses were assayed with a radioimmunoassay in 56 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease and in a similar number of age- and sex-matched controls with other neurological diseases. As a group, the patients with Parkinson's disease had a significantly increased serum antibody level against HSV, but measles virus antibody levels were similar in both groups. Both in the Parkinson's group and in the control group, the levels of the total IgG in CSF were within normal limits and the CSF antibodies to HSV and measles virus paralleled the serum antibody titers relative to the total IgG serum-to-CSF ratios. This indicates no increased intrathecal antibody production in either group. In 48 patients with Parkinson's disease who were HLA-typed, no association of viral antibody levels with particular HLA antigens were noted.
The findings suggest that HSV is not present within the central nervous system of the patients with Parkinson's disease. The increased HSV antibody level seen in Parkinson's disease patients may reflect a more general disturbance of the patients' immune functions.
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Accepted: November 10, 1981
Received: October 15, 1981
☆This study was supported by Sigrid Jusélius Foundation, Finland.
© 1982 Published by Elsevier Inc.