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Monday, December 9, 2013
Could myasthenia gravis be hereditary?
My father (80 years old) has just been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. I have an uncle who has had it for about 15 years, and another uncle who was diagnosed a few years ago. I have read on the internet that it is not considered hereditary, but I think it is odd then that 3 brothers have it. Do you have any insight to offer on this, and how me and my siblings and our children may be affect by this in the future?
There are some families that have higher frequencies of members with myasthenia gravis and other autoimmune diseases. This appears to be true for your family. There are ongoing studies to define what gene may predispose to myasthenia gravis in these families. You may wish to contact a genetics center at a university associated medical center to determine if your family could participate in research studies on this issue. Until scientific studies determine what genes place your family at risk for MG there is no way for me to give you any advice regarding your question.
Henry J Kaminski, MD
Formerly, Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University