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J Neurol Sci. 2002 Oct 15;202(1-2):5-11.

The role of antibodies in myasthenia gravis.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital Maastricht, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease associated with antibodies directed to the postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor. These antibodies reduce the number of receptors. Autoantibodies against AChR and other muscle antigens can be used for the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis and related disorders. The origin and the role of these antibodies in the disease are discussed. Experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis, an experimental model closely mimicking the disease, has provided answers to many questions about the role of antibodies, complement macrophages and AChR anchor proteins. Genetically modified anti-AChR antibodies may also be used in the future to treat myasthenia.

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