Scientific Studies

This page contains links to scientific studies that may be of interest to those with Myasthenia Gravis.

Studies involving identifying/diagnosing MG:

Use of the Cogan lid twitch to identify myasthenia gravis (Sept. 2011)

Studies specifically involving pregnancy and MG:

Pregnancy with Myasthenia Gravis. (Apr. 2014)

Myasthenia gravis and pregnancy. (Jun. 1993)

Treatment of antenatal myasthenia gravis. (Sept. 1991)

Myasthenia gravis in mothers and their newborns. (Mar. 1991)

Studies specifically involving mild cognitive issues and/or brain damage and MG:
We’ve chosen to include these studies here because students with MG who experience these issues (especially during MG flares) are often accused of “flaking out”, “not paying attention”, “not trying hard enough”, etc.  Adults with MG (particularly women) who present with these symptoms are often told that MG does not cause these symptoms and that they must be “depressed” or experiencing “anxiety”.  But it appears that MG can cause mild cognitive issues, that can be intermittent – just like the other symptoms of MG. If you are concerned about such issues and your neurologist, or your child’s doctor tells you that MG cannot cause these issues, please politely refer them to the studies showing otherwise.  None of these things are to be interpreted that individuals with MG are in any way less intelligent, or less capable than others.  It simply means that this is a possible symptom of MG and that individuals with MG deserve understanding and reasonable accommodation for these issues.

The decreased expression of thioredoxin-1 in brain of mice with experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis.  (May 2014)

Neuropsychological assessment in myasthenia gravis.  (Feb. 2009)

Cognitive evaluation in myasthenia gravis: A P300 and neuropsychological study.  (2006)

What have we learned about cognition in myasthenia gravis?: a review of methods and results.  (Jan 2001)

Cognitive dysfunction in individuals with myasthenia gravis.  (Oct. 2000)

Cognitive dysfunction in myasthenia gravis.  (Sept. 1990)

Studies specifically involving hearing loss/damage and MG:

Irreversible cochlear damage in myasthenia gravis.  (Jan 2006)

The efferent innervation of outer hair cells in humans: physiological investigations.  (Mar 1995)

Autoimmune deafness and myasthenia.  (1991)

Middle ear effusions and myasthenia gravis.  (Feb 1988)

Studies specifically involving MuSK Antibody:

Clinical and Electrophysiologic Responses to Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors in MuSK-Antibody-Positive Myasthenia Gravis: Evidence for Cholinergic Neuromuscular Hyperactivity. (Apr. 2014)

Studies specifically involving potential initial triggers for MG:

On the initial trigger of myasthenia gravis and suppression of the disease by antibodies against the MHC peptide region involved in the presentation of a pathogenic T-cell epitope.(2001)

Studies specifically involving remission:

An adult patient with ocular myasthenia and unusually long spontaneous remission. (Apr. 2014)

Studies involving LRP4 antibodies:

Study of LRP4 in ALS patients, may someday lead to better treatment of ALS and MG. (April 2015)

Studies regarding azathioprine (Imuran) use and MG: 

Nonmelanoma skin cancer risk awareness in azathioprine-treated MG patients (Sept 2015)

Studies involving vaccine shedding/exposure risk to others:
These studies are included here because while virus shedding is a risk to everyone, it can be particularly dangerous to individuals with compromised immune systems.

This study found that animals vaccinated for Pertussis (“whooping cough”) continued to carry the infection in their throats. The study found that they spread the infection to others.
“an additional explanation for pertussis resurgence is that aP-vaccinated individuals can act as asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic carriers and contribute significantly to transmission in the population.”
Acellular pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission in a nonhuman primate model  (Oct 2013)

This study showed that individuals vaccinated with Zostavax (the shingles vaccine) carried it in their saliva for up to 28 days. The study findings included:  “the detection of VZV DNA in saliva of Zostavax recipients for up to 28 days suggests that contact with saliva of recently immunized individuals represents a potential source of transmission.”
For more information, you can view the study at:
Varicella Zoster Virus DNA at Inoculation Sites and in Saliva After Zostavax Immunization (June 2011)

Studies involving progression from ocular to generalized MG:

The effect of prednisone on the progression from ocular to generalized myasthenia gravis. (Feb 2004)

Studies involving thymectomy:

“Catastrophic intraoperative complications of VAT thymectomy are very rare. They may not only occur in the learning curve period but also after a large experience. Experience in converting to open surgery within seconds is important to reduce morbidity and mortality.”
Catastrophes during video-assisted thoracoscopic thymus surgery for myasthenia gravis  (Apr 2016)

“In our long-term follow-up, thymectomy was superior to conservative treatment regarding overall survival, clinical improvement, and remission rate. Therefore, thymectomy should be considered strongly for all patients with generalized MG.”
For more information, visit:
Thymectomy is more effective than conservative treatment for myasthenia gravis regarding outcome and clinical improvement. (Apr 2009)

“Transsternal and minimally invasive thymectomy contribute to an improvement in myasthenia gravis symptoms for all subgroups. Surgery can be performed with low individual risks. In our trial, minimally invasive surgery was found to be superior in terms of improvement in myasthenia gravis-associated symptoms. Additionally, the hospital stay was shorter, and the patients felt lest disturbed by direct effects of the operation. Therefore, minimally invasive thymectomy can be regarded as the treatment of choice for patients undergoing surgery for myasthenia gravis.”
For more information, visit:
Long term outcome and quality of life after open and thoracoscopic thymectomy for myasthenia gravis  (Nov 2008)

Studies involving muscle regeneration and MG:

Muscle satellite cells are functionally impaired in myasthenia gravis: consequences on muscle regeneration  (29 July 2017)

many more coming soon… please check back.