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Therapeutic options in autoimmune myasthenia gravis

Authors
Journal
Autoimmunity Reviews
1568-9972
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
6
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.autrev.2007.01.001
Keywords
  • Autoimmune
  • Management
  • Myasthenia Gravis
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG) is associated with circulating antibodies to AChR, modification of the synaptic cleft, and destruction of the postsynaptic neuromuscular membrane. The hallmark is fluctuating muscular weakness and fatigability of muscles on sustained repeated activity. Various drugs and invasive procedures have been used in the treatment of MG including acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, corticosteroids, azathioprine, cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, etanercept, intravenous immunoglobulin, plasma exchange and thymectomy. We review the role of each of these drugs and invasive procedures in MG. Although current treatment is highly successful and mortality is almost nil, further trials are required to identify the most suitable treatments for different subgroups of MG patients. In addition, safer and more potent drugs are required as most current drugs have major side effects due to immunosuppression. Therefore, the goal of novel therapies should be increased specificity of the immune-directed agents.

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