Funding for this research was provided by:
Dietmar Hopp Foundation
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
German Research Foundation
Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Economy
Austrian Research Promotion Agency
German Research Foundation
Ruprecht Karls Universität Heidelberg
Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts
Received: 19 January 2018
Accepted: 26 February 2018
First Online: 19 March 2018
Ethics approval and consent to participate
: The study was approved by the institutional review boards of the participating centers. Patients gave written informed consent or were tested in an anonymised fashion as requested by the institutional review board of the University of Heidelberg.
: Not applicable.
: BW has received research grants, speaking fees, and travel grants from Merck Serono, Biogen, Teva, Novartis, Sanofi Genzyme, Bayer Healthcare, the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, and the Dietmar Hopp Stiftung. JPS has received research grants and speaking fees from DFG, Biogen, and Genzyme not related to the present work. KR has received research grants from German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF/KKNMS, Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis), Novartis, Merck Serono, and the Charité Research Fund; honoraria for consultancy or speaking and travel reimbursement from Novartis, Bayer Healthcare, Biogen Idec, Merck Serono, sanofi-aventis/Genzyme, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation; all unrelated to the submitted work. MP received research grants, speaker honoraria, and travel/accommodation/meeting expenses from Novartis, and speaker honoraria from Genzyme, Biogen Idec., Merck Serono, and Roche. I.K. received honoraria for consultancy or speaking and travel reimbursement from Bayer Healthcare, Biogen, Chugai, Merck, Novartis, Roche, and Shire, and research support from Affectis, Biogen, Chugai and Diamed, all not related to the presented work. CT has received honoraria for consultation and expert testimony from Biogen Idec/GmbH, Genzyme GmbH and Novartis Pharmaceuticals; none of this interfered with the current report. K.F. is an employee of Euroimmun AG, Germany. FL is employed by a non-commercial academic institution (University Hospital Schlewsig-Holstein) offering antibody testing. The University Hospital and Medical University of Innsbruck (Austria; M.R.) receives payments for antibody assays (MOG, AQP4, and other autoantibodies) and for MOG and AQP4 antibody validation experiments organized by Euroimmun (Lübeck, Germany). All authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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