We know that MG is an autoimmune disease or disorder, Following is a brief explanation of auto- immunity and theories about its causes.
An autoimmune disorder is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune disorders.
Normally the immune system’s army of white blood cells helps protect the body from harmful sub- stances called antigens. Examples of antigens include bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells and blood or tissues from another person or species. The immune system produces antibodies that destroy these harmful substances.
But in patients with an autoimmune disorder, the immune system can’t tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens. The result is an immune response that attacks normal body tis- sues. This response is a hypersensitive reaction similar to the response in allergies. In allergies, the immune system reacts to an external substance that it normally would ignore. With autoimmune disorders, the immune system reacts to normal body tissues. What causes the immune system to no longer tell the difference between healthy body tissue and antigens is unknown. One theory is that some microorganisms (such as bacteria) and drugs may trigger some of these changes, espe- cially in people who have genes that make them more likely to get autoimmune disorders.
Source: Medline Plus – A Service of the U.S. National Library of Health and NIH
Does having One Autoimmune Disease Lead to Another ?
Disorders of an autoimmune nature are known to occur with increased frequency in patients with another autoimmune disease. About 25 percent of patients with autoimmune diseases have a ten- dency to develop additional autoimmune disorders.
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