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New York Academy of Sciences to host conference on myasthenia gravis & related disorders

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NEW YORK, May 12, 2017 – From May 15th to 17th the New York Academy of Sciences in partnership with the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America will host the 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders. The conference convenes every five years and is the preeminent gathering of basic scientists and clinical researchers to discuss, disseminate, and highlight the advances and challenges of therapies for myasthenia gravis (MG) and related autoimmune diseases.

MG is a rare, acquired autoimmune syndrome that results in weakness and fatigue in the voluntary musculature of patients. Debilitating symptoms of this disease include vision impairment and loss, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, choking, and loss of coordination, resulting in a diminished quality of life as well as decreased life expectancy for some sufferers of this syndrome.

Linda L. Kusner, PhD, Associate Research Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology at George Washington University and Conference Organizing Committee Co-Chair, noted, "The 13th International Conference on Myasthenia Gravis and Related Disorders gathers a community of scientists and clinicians from around the world that work to better understand diseases of the neuromuscular junction and provide information on improved diagnostics and therapeutics. During the three-day conference, we work as a team dedicated to find the cure."

The prevalence of MG in the United States is estimated as occurring in 20 per 100,000 people. While modern medical advances have helped decrease the symptoms of the disease, there has been an increase in reported cases, especially among the aging population. The number of diagnosed MG cases is expected to rise as the aging population increases and screening techniques improve. From a public health perspective it is clear that an increased understanding of the etiology underlying MG is critical for enhancing diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

"Linda and I were so fortunate to work with a program advisory committee, made up of top-shelf scientists and clinicians from around the world, to come up with a program we think nicely covers so many important aspects of this disease," said Ted M. Burns, MD, Professor of Neurology at the University of Virginia and Conference Organizing Committee Co-Chair. The three-day conference will focus on the most critical topics for translating basic laboratory discoveries into real-world treatments for MG. Basic scientists and clinical researchers from academic institutions, treatment centers, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations will review current MG treatment options, ongoing clinical trials, and clinical limitations, while identifying current gaps in knowledge and future directions that could lead to potential breakthroughs.

Speakers will include a keynote presentation from Vijay Kuchroo, DVM, PhD, from Harvard Institutes of Medicine on "T cell Function in Autoimmunity." The conference will conclude with a panel discussion with an international group of experts, to discuss "Comparing and Contrasting Treatment Strategies around the World."

"We at the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America are proud to convene this meeting with most of the world's top scientists and clinicians in the field of myasthenia gravis in attendance," said Nancy Law, Chief Executive Officer of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. "We thank the organizing committee, led by Drs. Linda Kusner and Ted Burns, and the New York Academy of Sciences for their partnership in making this the most prestigious conference on MG and related disorders in the world."

If you are interested in attending this event in person or viewing the webinar please visit the registration page for additional information.

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The New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been driving innovative solutions to society's challenges by advancing scientific research, education, and policy. With more than 20,000 Members in 100 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. Please visit us online at http://www.nyas.org and follow us on Twitter at @NYASciences.

The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA)

MGFA is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against MG. MGFA is committed to finding a cure for myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, improving treatment options, and providing information and support to people with MG through research, education, community programs, and advocacy. Visit our website at http://www.myasthenia.org, email us at [email protected], or call 1-800-541-5454.

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Robert Birchard
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