Hope Through Research

At MDA, we take a big picture perspective across the full spectrum of neuromuscular diseases to uncover scientific and medical breakthroughs that accelerate treatments and cures. The power in our research approach is that we can often apply learnings from one disease to progress in others to bring urgently-needed answers to our families.

Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS)

MDA scientists began testing immunosuppressant drugs in Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) in the 1980s, when they helped link the disease to an autoimmune attack against the calcium channels in nerve endings.

They also began treating LEMS with the drug 3,4-DAP (which increases calcium channel activation) and continue to study calcium channels with an eye toward improved drugs. 3,4 DAP is currently in clinical trials for LEMS (the drug has previously only been available through compassionate use), and a new version of the drug is being tested under the name Firdapse.

MDA-funded researchers developed plasmapheresis specifically for treating MG and LEMS.

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