Purpose of review
This article provides an update on the most recent advances in diagnostic procedures and therapeutic approaches for myasthenia gravis, spanning from autoantibody and neuroelectrophysiological tests as diagnostic tools, to innovative and promising treatments based on biological drugs.
Novel studies performed by cell-based assays (CBAs) indicate an improvement in the chance of identifying serum autoantibodies in myasthenic patients. Clinical trials on the use of biological drugs were recently concluded, providing important data on safety and efficacy of eculizumab, efgartigimod and amifampridine phosphate: the first, a complement blocker, showed long-term safety and efficacy in acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-positive myasthenic patients with refractory generalized disease; the second, the neonatal Fc receptor blocker, was well tolerated and clinically effective in both AChR-specific and muscle-specific kinase receptor (MuSK)-positive patients; the third, a blocker of presynaptic potassium channels, was found to be well tolerated and effective in MuSK-positive patients.
CBAs can lead to a significant reduction of seronegative patients, improving myasthenia gravis diagnostic process. New biological drugs offer innovative approaches to treat myasthenic patients with generalized disease, promising to change the paradigm of treatment and to significantly enhance therapeutic success within a precision medicine framework.