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The term seronegative myasthenia gravis (SNMG) refers to the generalized disease without detectable anti-acetylcholine receptor (anti-AChR) antibodies. In these patients, IgG antibodies against the muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) have been described, which reduced agrin-induced AChR clustering in vitro. We have assayed anti-MuSK antibodies in 78 patients with(More)
BACKGROUND Thymectomy has been a mainstay in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, but there is no conclusive evidence of its benefit. We conducted a multicenter, randomized trial comparing thymectomy plus prednisone with prednisone alone. METHODS We compared extended transsternal thymectomy plus alternate-day prednisone with alternate-day prednisone alone.(More)
IMPORTANCE Myasthenia gravis is a chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease characterized by fluctuating weakness of voluntary muscle groups. Although genetic factors are known to play a role in this neuroimmunological condition, the genetic etiology underlying myasthenia gravis is not well understood. OBJECTIVE To identify genetic variants that alter(More)
BACKGROUND Important progress has been made in our understanding of the autoimmune neuromuscular transmission (NMT) disorders; myasthenia gravis (MG), Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) and neuromyotonia (Isaacs' syndrome). METHODS To prepare consensus guidelines for the treatment of the autoimmune NMT disorders, references retrieved from MEDLINE,(More)
Acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies are present in around 85% of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) as measured by the conventional radioimmunoprecipitation assay. Antibodies that block the fetal form of the AChR are occasionally present in mothers who develop MG after pregnancy, especially in those whose babies are born with arthrogryposis multiplex(More)
Double-seronegative myasthenia gravis (dSN-MG, without detectable AChR and MuSK antibodies) presents a serious gap in MG diagnosis and understanding. Recently, autoantibodies against the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4) have been identified in several dSN-MG sera, but with dramatic frequency variation (∼2-50%). We have developed a(More)
INTRODUCTION Myasthenia gravis (MG) patients with autoantibodies to muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) represent a distinct subset of those with this disease. Treatment and outcomes data in these patients are limited and conflicting. METHODS We reviewed 110 MuSK-MG patients from two large clinics in Italy and the USA. RESULTS Thirty-nine to 49% of(More)
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the influence of myasthenia gravis (MG) on pregnancy and potential treatment risks for infants and mothers. BACKGROUND MG frequently affects young women in the second and third decades of life, overlapping with the childbearing years. Knowledge of the potential effects of 1) pregnancy on the course of MG and 2) the use of(More)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The detection of antibodies binding neural antigens in patients with epilepsy has led to the definition of 'autoimmune epilepsy'. Patients with neural antibodies not responding to antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) may benefit from immunotherapy. Aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of autoantibodies specific to neural antigens in(More)
Immunosuppression is the mainstay of treatment for myasthenia gravis (MG). In this paper, we review the mechanisms of action and clinical application of corticosteroids and different classes of immunosuppressive drugs that are currently used in MG patients, and present the results of their use in more than 1000 patients with MG seen at our two centers.(More)