Published: May 5, 2017

Myasthenia Gravis Foundation to host free educational program for patients

Contact(s): Laura Probyn College of Osteopathic Medicine office: (517) 884-3755

A social and educational event for patients with myasthenia gravis, a rare autoimmune neuromuscular disease, and their families, will be held at Michigan State University during the 41st annual meeting of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Michigan.

The free event will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., May 20 in the MSU Radiology Building auditorium. The conference begins with a buffet breakfast followed by three speakers including:

• Lina Nagia, MSU professor of neuro-ophthalmology, who will speak about ocular myasthenia gravis’ conversion to general MG, as well as findings from the latest studies.

• Ann Little, James W. Albers collegiate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan, who will address the pathophysiology of the disease and current therapies.

• Amit Sachdev, MSU assistant professor and director of the division of neuromuscular medicine, who will share information about emerging therapies.

According to Sachdev, myasthenia gravis, or MG, affects only about 10 out of every 100,000 people. Two groups of the population are most typically affected by MG—young females of childbearing age and men aged 65 and up. It causes weakness in the arms and legs, and affects walking, breathing, swallowing and vision. While there is no known cure for MG, effective treatments allow many patients to live full lives.

“At this conference, we’re going to be touching on topics that are near and dear to a lot of these patients, like common presentations of the disease, and new drugs that are being developed,” said Sachdev, a member of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation board. “These are topics that generate a lot of questions, but unfortunately a lot of patients feel like they don’t always get the chance to ask questions. These presentations, along with the opportunity for Q & A afterward, will be really valuable.

“It’s also difficult for people to get to know other patients who have the disease,” Sachdev said. “It’s really important that we have meetings like this across the state so MG patients can meet other people with the disorder.”

Registration is required. RSVP before May 12 at 616-956-0622.

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