The Neuro-Immunology Laboratory is part of the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It is a division of the UBC Diagnostic Services Laboratory and is affiliated with the Brain Research Centre at UBC. The laboratory has been in operation since 1984 under the directorship of Dr. Joel Oger until 2014. Dr. Oger was a professor of Neurology and had a keen interest in providing specialized services for patients affected with Neuro-Immunological disorders. After Dr. Oger’s retirement at the end of 2014, Dr. Hans Frykman took over the directorship of the laboratory.
The laboratory specializes in developing and providing new diagnostic tests and high quality laboratory services. Patient samples from across Canada are sent to the laboratory for diagnostic purposes. It is a small, non-profit laboratory accredited by the Diagnostic Accreditation Program of British Columbia (DAP).
The following 4 tests are covered by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) of British Columbia:
- Neutralizing antibodies to interferon-beta in treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (NAbs) (P91858)
- Anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody testing for diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (AchR Ab) (Qualitative – P91020; Quantitative – P91021)
- Muscle-specific Tyrosine Kinase antibody testing for diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis (MuSK Ab) (P91022) (Starting June 1, 2017)
- Voltage-gated calcium channel antibody testing for the diagnosis of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (VGCC Ab) (P91861) (Starting June 1, 2017)
We also provide support for human immune testing in clinical trials including but not limited to Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis and other neurological disorders:
- Human T Lymphotropic Virus Type I (HTLV-I) induced DNA synthesis (HAM TSP).
- Affinity/Binding measures of antigen/antibody interactions using BIAcore (antibody screening).
- Anti-muscle specific tyrosine kinase (anti-MuSK) antibody (Myasthenia Gravis).
- Anti-aquaporin-4 antibody (Neuromyelitis Optica and related conditions)
Additionally, the laboratory has a strong connection with education, and provides research projects for undergraduates, graduates, post-docs, clinical and research fellows. This research is greatly contributing to our knowledge regarding neuroimmunological diseases.