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Myasthenia Gravis

Stem cells in myasthenia gravis

11/16/2007

Question:

Can the stem cells help in Myasthenia Gravis?I have this sikness since November 2000 and i`ve tried with many medications such as corticosteroids,mestinon,plasmopheresis,imunoglobulines,cellcept.I`ve also had thymectomy in January 2001 and from all this things i`ve not had any results.On the contrary i still have weakness in my arms and legs,nasal speach,dificult chewing and swallowing, neck weakness etc. I would wait for your answers on my e-mail THANK YOU

Answer:

No, I don't think stem cells will help MG (at least in the usual way stem cells are discussed). Stem cells may help (in the future) in conditions where a certain type of cell is destroyed (e.g. muscle fibers in muscular dystrophy). In MG, it is an auto-immune attack that is the primary problem.

Using bone marrow transplantation (a form of stem cell treatment) after very aggressive chemotherapy can be considered an extreme form of immunosuppression. In this context it could be regarded as a treatment of MG with high potential for bad side effects.

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Response by:

John G Quinlan, MD John G Quinlan, MD
Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati