New Study Finds Immunoglobulin a Viable Option to Treat MG

13 November, 2020

new study published in the European Journal of Neurology has found that Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) and Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin (SCIG) are viable options for chronic therapy for Myasthenia Gravis (MG). 

Myasthenia Gravis, or grave muscle weakness in Greek and Latin, is an autoimmune disease caused by miscommunication between nerves and muscles. The defect in the transmission of signals causes the patient’s immune system to block or attack the neurotransmitter receptors on her own muscle tissues. The result, as the name suggests, is excessive weakness or fatigue. 

Many patients suffering from the disease, which is estimated to affect 2 to 7 people in 10,000, treat it with self-care: exercise, rest, a healthy diet, and so forth. However, depending on its severity, the muscles affected, and their age, most patients rely on symptomatic therapies or course-modifying therapies.  

Symptomatic therapies are medications that target the symptoms rather than the cause of a disease. Oral Pyridostigmine is the symptomatic therapy most used by patients of MG to mitigate its symptoms. On the other hand, course-modifying or disease-modifying therapies are medications that reduce the activity of a disease, thereby inhibiting its progression. In this case, the immunosuppressant Azathioprine is the most prescribed.  

Now, the new study has found immunoglobulin to be a likely alternative.  

The study involved 34 patients of MG, treated with IVIG or SCIG between January 2015 and January 2020, for at least six months. The result was a “significant reduction” in the Myasthenia Gravis Impairment Index (MGII), a novel measure of MG severity.   

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