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Myasthenia Gravis

Polio and myasthenia

02/07/2008

Question:

My mother and aunt both had polio when they were young. Could this have anything to do with me getting myasthenia gravis?

Answer:

Polio is viral infection of the motor neurons (muscle nerves). I have found no reports of maternal transmission of susceptibility to myasthenia gravis due to polio exposure. It would be more likely if your mother had some other autoimmune disease, like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's.

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Response by:

Robert W Neel, IV, MD Robert W Neel, IV, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati