Myasthenia Gravis and Influenza Vaccine

With the upcoming flu season fast approaching, MGA wanted to make you aware of information found on the internet regarding Myasthenia Gravis and the Influenza vaccine.  NOTE: The content of this article is being provided for informational purposes only.  Please consult with your own doctor regarding the Influenza vaccine.

Safety of influenza vaccination in patients with myasthenia gravis: A population‐based study

Lorne Zinman, MD., MSc  Jessica Thoma BSc  Jeffrey C. Kwong, MD., MSc  Alex Kopp BA, ThÉRÈSe A. Stukel, PhD.,  David N. Juurlink MD, PhD

First published: 09 November 2009 https://doi.org/10.1002/mus.21440 Cited by: 14

Influenza vaccination has been associated with adverse events including Guillain–Barré syndrome. Because the safety of influenza vaccination in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) has not been established, some clinicians discourage vaccination for these patients. We explored whether the administration of influenza vaccine to patients with MG might increase the risk of myasthenic crisis. Using population‐based healthcare data from Ontario, Canada, from 1992 to 2007, we utilized the self‐matched, case‐series method of detecting adverse events following vaccination. We studied patients with established myasthenia who were hospitalized for MG within 42 weeks of influenza vaccination. We defined the primary risk interval as the 6 weeks following vaccination. Between January 1, 1992 and March 31, 2006, we identified 3667 hospital admissions for MG. No seasonal trend in MG admissions was evident. In 513 instances, hospitalization occurred within 42 weeks following vaccination in patients previously diagnosed with MG. Among these patients, 266 (52%) were men, the median age was 74 years, and 86 (17%) had previously undergone thymectomy. The estimated relative incidence of admission for MG in the primary risk interval compared with the control interval was 0.84 (95% confidence interval 0.65–1.09). We found similar results in stratified analyses according to gender, age, and thymectomy status. Vaccination of patients with MG against influenza was not found to be associated with exacerbations of the disease. Our findings do not support the practice of withholding influenza vaccination in patients with MG. Muscle Nerve, 2009.

CDC Recommends Flu Shot

Posted January 3, 2015 at http://www.myastheniagravis.org/cdc-recommends-flu-shot/

With colder weather comes flu season.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.

The CDC notes that some groups should especially get the flu vaccine because they are at higher risk for severe complications if they get the flu.  This includes those who have chronic neurological disorders and those who are taking immune suppressant medications. The CDC recommends that these groups avoid the nasal spray vaccine because it is made with a live virus.

FDA Approves Soliris for Generalized MG

Kay Connelly, MGA member and co-chair of the Ann Arbor Support Group, sent the following information to the MGA office on an FDA approved drug treatment for generalized myasthenia gravis.  It is called Soliris and Kay received the information through mda.org.

Muscular Dystrophy Association LogoWe have some exciting news to share with you:  The FDA has approved Soliris to treat adults with generalized myasthenia gravis.

Soliris is a terminal complement inhibitor that targets a part of the immune system called the complement system, which is responsible for helping antibodies clear damaged cells and potentially toxic microbes that could cause infections. In MG, antibodies whose job it is to target these toxic pathogens instead inappropriately recruit the complement system and target the space across which nerve fibers transmit signals to muscle fibers, called the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Soliris is thought to work in MG by inhibiting the complement pathway to prevent destruction of the NMJ. Soliris is not a cure, but it may lessen the symptoms experienced by people living with generalized MG.

For more on this exciting news, read FDA: Soliris is Approved to Treat Generalized MG in the United States, and be sure to check back at mda.org for updates.

Sincerely,
MDA Outreach

At the present time, Soliris is very expensive.

Soliris logo

 

Diet is a Four Letter Word

Image of healthy foods

By: Kay Connelly
Sosin Education Symposium – October 22, 2017

Kay Connelly provided information about diet/exercise and the struggles with the neuromuscular disease myasthenia gravis. The information was well received and many questions followed, providing an opportunity for Dr. Raina Ernstoff to provide additional input. Kay firmly believes that it has helped her improve her stamina as well as initiating a healthier lifestyle.

You can review the presentation on diet and exercise for those with myasthenia gravis by clicking here or request a copy of the DVD from the MGA Office by calling (248) 591-4419.

Kay Connelly graduated from The Ohio State University in 1985 with a B.S. degree. She was diagnosed seronegative MG in 2003. She is actively involved in our Ann Arbor support group. Kay loves to travel with her husband Will who is a pediatrician, and she adores her two terriers. She was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune connective tissue disease, this past January.

SOSIN EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM Held October 22, 2017

The Sosin Education Symposium was held on Sunday, October 22, 2017, at the Inn of St. Johns in Plymouth, Michigan.  Everyone enjoyed a great meal, followed by the awards presentation and speaker.

The Sosin Award was presented to Dale Shomo for his service on the MGA Board of Directors, chair or co-chair of MGA special events along with his wife, Diane, as well as many volunteer positions with MGA. Dale continues to promote MGA to family and friends and is also a Vietnam Veteran, having served our country with distinction.  Congratulations and thank you for your service, Dale!

Carolyn and Chuck Caulk

 
The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to George Kingston for his many years of volunteerism at MGA, especially the golf outing, where he made an excellent golf hole spotter!  George does not live in the area and travels very early in the morning to help out at our events, offering to help wherever needed.  George also donates to MGA via the United Way campaign at work and has designated donations annually to MGA, which are matched by General Motors. Congratulations and thank you, George, for all you do!

You can request a copy of this event on DVD from the MGA Office by calling (248)591-4419.