257/365 – Better treatment on the horizon?

For anyone else who gets Google news alerts for myasthenia gravis, you may have felt a flutter of excitement yesterday. After a busy day, I only picked up the article tonight on the train to Edinburgh. When I read the words ‘better treatment’, I blanked out the rest of the headline. 

The article by news-medical.net was focused on a grant provided to Dr. Jeffrey T. Guptill, MD, MA, MHS, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Duke University, by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. It states that they ate seeking ‘a better more targeted’ style of treatment – apparently most of the treatments at present aren’t very targeted (no shhh Sherlock). This would apparently mean less negative impact on the immune system, fewer unnecessary side effects and infections.

The grant will allow the team to investigate immune system pathways and cells that show evidence of MG. The article said:
‘This is important because there are existing drugs that target these pathways, so if it can be determined that they are useful, it would pave the way for clinical trials for certain drug therapies.’

Another part of the treatment will be creating a ‘multi-center research network of MG centers to develop a repository of MG blood samples for use in future studies’ – wonder if UCL will be involved in that, where I recently put myself forward to be part of a research database. 

The idea behind this is that this network could be of wider benefit than just for people with MG – it  could be used for studying other autoimmune diseases, creating a ripple effect to improving treatments in other areas.
While I’m not getting my hopes up about any rapid improvements to treatment, it is good to hear that the medical community recognise there is an issue with the hit or miss type of treatment at present. Targeted treatment 

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