Current and future therapies for myasthenia gravis

Qing Yi, Ann Kari Lefvert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is undoubtedly the most thoroughly understood of all human autoimmune diseases. The basic defect in the disease is a decrease in the number of available acetylcholine receptors (AChR) at neuromuscular junctions caused by an antibody-mediated autoimmune attack. Current treatments aimed at restoring the available AChR, depleting the autoantibodies or suppressing the immune system have been so effective that most patients can lead normal lives. However, prolonged drug treatment is required, and this carries a potential risk of drug toxicity and, in the case of immunosuppressants, systemic immunosuppression. The ideal treatment for MG would eliminate only the abnormal autoimmune response without interfering with the immune system. During the past 20 years, impressive advances have been made in our understanding of the immunology and molecular biology of MG. Accordingly, it should be possible to design rational and immune-based therapies in the future. In this article, we briefly review the current treatment modalities for MG, and discuss the prospects for immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalDrugs and Aging
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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