Research Focus Overview

Research Focus Overview

The Autoimmune Neurology Research Team

The Autoimmune Neurology Research Team aims to evaluate neurological disorders with antibody biomarkers including autoimmune encephalitis, paraneoplastic encephalitis, MOG-IgG associated disorder, and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. We are also interested in neurological autoimmunity and inflammation augmented by biological therapies. There is limited longitudinal data to provide evidence based care for this population. Our main aim is to perform translational multimodal research leading to improved quality of care of patients with autoimmune neurological conditions. To address this, we are utilizing our longitudinal autoimmune neurology clinical registry and biorepository with advanced neuroimaging and neuropsychology to examine prognostication of clinical outcomes in this population.

Contact Information:

Amy Kunchok, MD

Funding Sources:

Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Research Program Committee (RPC)
Biomarkers of disease activity and clinical outcomes in autoimmune encephalitis.



Kunchok A, McKeon A, Zekeridou A, Flanagan EP, Dubey D, Lennon VA, Klein CJ, Mills JR, Pittock SJ. Autoimmune/Paraneoplastic Encephalitis Antibody Biomarkers: Frequency, Age, and Sex Associations. Mayo Clin Proc. 2022 Mar;97(3):547-559. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2021.07.023. Epub 2021 Dec 23. PMID: 34955239.

Galioto R, Aboseif A, Krishnan K, Lace J, Kunchok A. Cognitive outcomes in anti-LGI-1 encephalitis. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2022 Sep 5:1-10. doi: 10.1017/S1355617722000509. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36062531.

Kunchok A, Flanagan EP, Krecke KN, Chen JJ, Caceres JA, Dominick J, Ferguson I, Kinkel R, Probasco JC, Ruvalcaba M, Santoro JD, Sieloff K, Timothy J, Weinshenker BG, McKeon A, Pittock SJ. MOG-IgG1 and co-existence of neuronal autoantibodies. Mult Scler. 2021 Jul;27(8):1175-1186. doi: 10.1177/1352458520951046. Epub 2020 Sep 10. PMID: 32907470; PMCID: PMC8454216.

Kunchok A, Chen JJ, Saadeh RS, Wingerchuk DM, Weinshenker BG, Flanagan EP, Pittock SJ. Application of 2015 Seronegative Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Criteria for Patients With Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein IgG-Associated Disorders. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Dec 1;77(12):1572-1575. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.2743. PMID: 32777005; PMCID: PMC7418041.

Kunchok A, Flanagan EP, Snyder M, Saadeh R, Chen JJ, Weinshenker BG, McKeon A, Pittock SJ. Coexisting systemic and organ-specific autoimmunity in MOG-IgG1-associated disorders versus AQP4-IgG+ NMOSD. Mult Scler. 2021 Apr;27(4):630-635. doi: 10.1177/1352458520933884. Epub 2020 Jul 7. PMID: 32633603.

Kunchok A, Chen JJ, McKeon A, Mills JR, Flanagan EP, Pittock SJ. Coexistence of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein and Aquaporin-4 Antibodies in Adult and Pediatric Patients. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Feb 1;77(2):257-259. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.3656. PMID: 31657826; PMCID: PMC6820046.

Kunchok A, Aksamit AJ Jr, Davis JM 3rd, Kantarci OH, Keegan BM, Pittock SJ, Weinshenker BG, McKeon A. Association Between Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor Exposure and Inflammatory Central Nervous System Events. JAMA Neurol. 2020 Aug 1;77(8):937-946. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.1162. PMID: 32421186; PMCID: PMC7235930.

Members & Collaborations

Members & Collaborations


Cleveland Clinic Affiliations

  • Rachel Galioto, PhD (Neuropsychology, Cleveland Clinic)
  • Justin Abbatemarco, MD (MS and Autoimmune Neurology, Cleveland Clinic)
  • Kunio Nakamura, PhD (Biomedical engineering, Cleveland Clinic)
  • Stephen Jones, MD, PhD (Diagnostic Radiology, Cleveland Clinic)
  • Alex Milinovich (Data analytics, Cleveland Clinic)