Rochester, Minnesota Clinical Profile


Sean J. Pittock, M.D., is Associate Professor of Neurology and Co-director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Pittock's clinical and laboratory expertise lies in modifying, for clinical application, the antibody assays developed by the Neuroimmunology Laboratory. In 2006, he set up the "Autoimmune Neurology Clinic" in the Division of MS and Autoimmune Neurology, which interacts closely with the Neuroimmunology Laboratory and has allowed the development of a unique translational practice extending the laboratory's serological findings directly to the bedside. This new 21st century subspecialty addressed diagnosis and treatment of organ-specific autoimmune disorders that target the central and peripheral nervous systems. Neurological disorders currently recognized as autoimmune comprise a spectrum of idiopathic and paraneoplastic entities, often misdiagnosed as degenerative, that intersect all traditional subspecialties, including movement disorders, epilepsy, behavioral, neuromuscular, autonomic and demyelinating. Dr. Pittock is currently overseeing multiple interdepartmental collaborative studies including: 1) Investigating the role of PET in the diagnostic evaluation of paraneoplastic disorders; 2)Defining "autoimmune dementias"; 3)Expanding our knowledge of the clinical associations of antibodies targeting cation channels, including the voltage gated potassium and calcium channels and the ganglionic acetylcholine receptor; and 4)Development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches to autoimmune neurological disorders. Dr. Pittock is currently working with the Department of Gastroenterology in the investigation and treatment of patients with "Autoimmune GI Dysmotility" (AGID). He is a co-investigator in Project 2 of an NIH-funded program project grant entitled "Pathobiology of the Enteric Nervous System." The aim of Project 2 is to define neural autoantibody profiles of autoimmune GI dysmotility and characterize novel human serum autoantibodies that bind selectively to elements of the enteric nervous systems. Dr. Pittock, as a member of the Mayo Clinic NMO Consortium, has played a central role in Mayo Clinic's studies of the first serological marker for a demyelinating disorder of the human central nervous system, NMO-IgG. His continuing analyses of the accompaniments of this important new antibody complement the clinical criteria proposed for NMO diagnosis. Furthermore, Dr. Pittock's clinical, imaging and serological correlative studies are providing the foundation for future investigation of the basic immunological mechanisms that cause NMO. His study entitled "Bench-to-Bedside Investigation of Aquaporin-4 Autoimmunity" is an individualized translational medicine approach aimed at the development of laboratory-based tools that can better diagnose and predict outcome in NMO. This work is funded partly by the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation. Dr. Pittock is also the principal investigator of an Alexion-funded open label trial of Eculizumab in NMO.


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Primary Appointment

  1. Neurology

Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Neurology


  1. Fellow - Neuroimmunology Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
  2. Fellow - Neuroimmunology Department of Neurology
  3. Resident - Internal Medicine-fulfilling criteria for ABPN board eligibility Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  4. Resident - Neurology Mayo Clinic in Rochester
  5. Specialist Registrar - Neurology Department of Neurology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  6. MD - Post doctoral degree Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  7. Fellow - Fellow in Neurological Sciences Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  8. Resident - Internal Medicine Federated Dublin Hospital Scheme, Trinity College, Dublin
  9. MMedSc University College Dublin
  10. Internship St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  11. MB BCh/BAO - Honors Medical Degree University College Dublin

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