Journal of medicine

Enhancement of noradrenergic neural transmission: an effective therapy of myasthenia gravis: a report on 52 consecutive patients.

PMID 11508327


Neurochemical, neuroautonomic and neuropharmacological assessments carried out on all our myasthenia gravis (MG) patients showed that they presented a neural sympathetic deficit plus excessive adrenal-sympathetic activity. These abnormalities were registered during the basal (supine-resting) state, as well as after several stress tests (orthostasis, exercise, oral glucose and buspirone). In addition, MG patients showed increased levels of free-serotonin (f5HT) in the plasma, supposedly associated with the increased platelet aggregability which we found in all MG patients. As the above trio of neurochemical disorders (low noradrenergic-activity + high adrenergic-activity + increased f-5HT plasma levels) is known to favor Th-1 immunosuppression + Th-2 predominance, we outlined a neuropharmacological strategy for reverting the above neurochemical disorder. This treatment provoked sudden (acute), and late sustained improvements. Acute effects have been attributed to the increase of alpha-1 activity at the spinal motoneuron level. Late improvements always paralleled a significant normalization of immunological disorders. Complete normalization was registered only in non-thymectomized MG patients.