Navigation Links
SLU researchers show how to stop muscle weakness caused by myasthenia gravis
Date:12/20/2007

Severe muscle weakness caused by myasthenia gravis a highly debilitating autoimmune disorder can be prevented or reversed by blocking a key step in the immune response that brings on the disease, researchers at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have found.

Myasthenia gravis, which affects about 120,000 Americans, is caused when the immune system produces antibodies that attack and damage acetylcholine receptors, which are mechanisms that play a key role in transmitting the electrical impulses that cause muscles to move and contract.

The immune response at the heart of this process is called a complement cascade a complex chain of chemical reactions in which proteins bind together to attack a cell by punching a hole in it. When acetylcholine receptors are damaged in this way, muscle movement is severely impaired.

Using an animal model, the SLU scientists found they could prevent muscle weakness, or restore muscle strength, caused by myasthenia gravis by stopping the complement cascade at a step called C5 before the series of chemical reactions had finished. They did this by administering an anti-C5 agent, which targets one of the proteins involved in the cascade and thus stops the process.

The researchers findings are published in a recent edition of the Journal of Immunology (http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/reprint/179/12/8562).

Henry J. Kaminski, M.D., professor and chairman of the department of neurology and psychiatry at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, one of the studys authors, said the findings are promising enough that human clinical trials involving the anti-C5 agent called eculizumab are likely within a year.

We believe this therapeutic approach has strong potential for improving the lives of patients with myasthenia gravis, Kaminski said. And if it proves successful there, it could also one day help us find new therapies for other auto-immune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Myasthenia gravis affects approximately 400 per 1 million people. The severe muscle weakness caused by the disease brings a host of other complications, including difficulty breathing, difficulty chewing and swallowing, slurred speech, droopy eyelids and blurred or double vision. By preventing or reversing the muscle weakness, the other symptoms are prevented or reversed as well.

Myasthenia gravis cant be cured, but it is sometimes be treated with surgery to remove the thymus (which plays a role in the immune system) or with various drugs. Surgery often doesnt bring relief, however, and the medications typically decrease in effectiveness over time or, in the case of immunosupressants and corticosteriods, have severe side effects.


'/>"/>

Contact: Donn Walker
dwalke18@slu.edu
314-977-8015
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
3. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
4. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
5. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
6. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
7. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
8. Majority of 2.4 Million U.S. Children With ADHD Not Diagnosed or Consistently Treated, According to New Gold Standard Study by Cincinnati Childrens Researchers
9. Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone
10. Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
11. Purdue researchers develop technology to detect cancer by scanning surface veins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... Shark Finds and Kevin ... of a new DRTV campaign with Belly Bands. , Having a dog is great—except ... to puppy pads and find nothing works, get Belly Bands, the easiest way ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Today, the Whole-Food Warrior TV ... the much-anticipated feature with author Jahnavi Foster, specialist in healthy vegetarian cuisine, will stream ... Each week, on his weekly Whole-Food Warrior TV show, Frank Davis highlights Whole-Food Warriors ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift for ... your toes. Foot massage, whether administered by a professional masseuse or a loved one, ... American Board of Multiple Specialties in Podiatry (ABMSP) has taken the upcoming Valentine’s ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... In the ... the country gathered at the La Valencia Hotel in San Diego, California to ... was named the year’s most outstanding franchise, walking away with the coveted David ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Pivot Point Consulting, a leading ... Software & Services for HIT Implementation Support & Staffing report with an outstanding ... performance by healthcare executives, managers and clinicians representing over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- France , Germany , ... Israel ). It includes a 10-year epidemiology forecast for ... by age and sex in these markets. GD epidemiology report is written ... high quality, transparent and market-driven, providing expert analysis of disease trends in ... , Italy , Spain , ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- For hospitals considering enrollment in the Federal 340B ... program, the Health Resources and Services Administration,s (HRSA) recent ... , could have significant impact on plans and operations, ... Essential Insights , Daniel Neal, director ... Mega-Guidance,s key proposed changes, including a new requirement that ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... -- The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) today commended ... Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Ranking Member Elijah ... "Developments in the Prescription Drug Market," to examine ... abusive pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) pricing practices. ... Elijah Cummings (D-MD) are diligent, serious lawmakers committed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: