Myasthenia Gravis (MG)

Abnormal Immune Response to LRP4 Protein Can Cause MG

A research team supported in part by MDA has shown that an abnormal reaction of the immune system against a protein called LRP4 can be added to the known causes of myasthenia gravis (MG), a disorder involving fluctuating weakness and fatigue because of impaired nerve-to-muscle communication. MG is an autoimmune disease, meaning it's caused by abnormal activity of the body's immune system against its own tissues.

MDA Awards $8.5 Million to 31 Neuromuscular Disease Research Projects

In its summer 2013 round of research grant awards, the Muscular Dystrophy Association aims to catalyze research progress in a dozen neuromuscular diseases, with an eye toward applying that knowledge to related muscle diseases, as well.

“A large number of our grants are investigating new therapeutic technologies,” notes Jane Larkindale, MDA's vice president of research. “These are 'platform' technologies, where successes can be transferred well beyond the specific disease in which they are developed and tested.”

MG: Can the Immune Response Be Tamed?

It can start with nothing more than a drooping eyelid or a slight slurring of speech, either of which can come and go and improve with rest. But it can progress, often gradually over weeks or months, to affect all the voluntary muscles, including those controlling breathing. Weakness may be minimal early in the morning after a good night's sleep and worsen throughout the day, especially after periods of activity.

‘Focused, Intense’ MDA Conference Advances Neuromuscular Disease Research

Turning neuromuscular disease research into treatments as quickly and effectively as possible was the overarching theme of dozens of formal presentations, nearly 200 scientific posters, and countless informal conversations at the MDA Scientific Conference, April 21-24.

A palpable sense of excitement pervaded the sold-out event thanks to the unprecedented number of experimental treatments in clinical trials for neuromuscular diseases, and the unique opportunity the conference provided for information-sharing and collaboration among scientific professionals from many disciplines.

SMA Research Briefs: Testing Drugs from Other Diseases

In the search for therapies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), researchers are testing two drugs with connections to other neuromuscular disorders: riluzole, which is approved for use in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); and tirasemtiv, which is already in testing for ALS and

The Singing Snowmen

Artist: 

Sarah is attending Bellevue College and majoring in early childhood education. She has exhibited works as a teen and an adult in many facilities in the Kirkland and Seattle areas, specifically at the Seattle Children's Hospital. Sarah is active in several local choral organizations at college and her church.

Sarah Eames

Sarah is attending Bellevue College and majoring in early childhood education. She has exhibited works as a teen and an adult in many facilities in the Kirkwood and Seattle areas, specifically at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Sarah is active in several local choral organizations at college and her church.

2013
Full name: 
Ms. Sarah Eames
Artist: 
Sarah Eames
Disease: 
Myasthenia Gravis (MG)
Medium: 
Marker

Research Briefs: DMD, Leigh Syndrome, MG, Periodic Paralysis, Pompe Disease

Drug development and identifying new leads for possible drug development are in the news for five neuromuscular diseases in MDA’s program.

$13.6 Million in New MDA Grants Promote Understanding, Treatment of Neuromuscular Diseases

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 44 new grants totaling $13.6 million to advance the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. The new grants, most of which took effect Feb. 1, encompass a range of diseases covered by MDA’s research program, and they support innovative approaches to basic research and new drug development.

In addition to addressing 16 specific neuromuscular diseases under MDA’s umbrella, the grants also fund research into muscular dystrophy in general, and research into muscle physiology related to neuromuscular disease.

MG — Socrates Tzartos, Ph.D.

Socrates Tzartos, professor of biochemistry at the Hellenic Pasteur Institute in Athens, Greece, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $345,033 over a period of three years to develop diagnostic tools for diagnosis of the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 4 (LRP4) form of myasthenia gravis (MG).

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