The adult neurologist at Allegheny Health Network provided insight on the current state of care for myasthenia gravis and strides the community has made in recent decades. [WATCH TIME: 7 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 7 minutes
"About 80% of patients can be treated with a simple therapy, and they see their doctor once in a while. Their symptoms are managed, if not 100% perfect, at least to the point where they carry out activities of daily living. But they sort of know they have that problem."
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Patients can experience a range of symptoms including weakness of the eyes, blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, and impaired speech, among others; however, the disease has become well-managed over the years, thanks to the advancements in therapeutics.
There are several therapies available to help reduce and improve muscle weakness for these patients, including thymectomy, monoclonal antibody treatments such as eculizumab (Soliris; Alexion), immunosuppressives, anticholinesterase therapies, plasma exchange, and intravenous immunoglobulin. George Small, MD, an adult neurologist at Allegheny Health Network, recently said “there’s never a better time to have myasthenia gravis,” pointing to the fact that the treatment toolbox has never been so diverse.
In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Small provided an overview on the state of care for patients with MG, and the integration of new therapeutics. He stressed the vast improvement in adverse event profiles with these agents, as well as how over time, the growing amount of data on MG has helped pave the way its treated today.