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Myasthenia Gravis
December 2001

Q. I have been unable to find any references that clearly state whether or not Myasthenia Gravis is communicable to one's partner through blood, saliva or other body fluids. I am an adult Lesbian and unwilling to risk my partner's health. Safe sex for prevention of AIDS and other diseases is clearly understood, but there is no mention of the possibility of transmission of MG or other autoimmune diseases in this way. My partner has voiced this concern and I am unable to find an answer. I am reluctant to pursue/continue a physical relationship until this question is resolved.

A. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease characterized by muscle weakness. The cause is not known, but there is no evidence of an infection, and no evidence for person to person transmission. The condition results from antibodies which interfere with the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles. It is an uncommon condition which can occur at any age, but for unknown reasons tends to affect younger women or older men. Early symptoms are often difficulty with eyelid movement, swallowing, or speech.

http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000315/tips/28.html

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/pubs/myasthenia_gravis.htm

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