This study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia.
Case of the Month
Muscle-specific kinase antibodies: A novel cause of peripheral nerve hyperexcitability?
Version of Record online: 26 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Muscle & Nerve
Volume 48, Issue 5, pages 819–823, November 2013
How to Cite
Simon, N. G., Reddel, S. W., Kiernan, M. C. and Layzer, R. (2013), Muscle-specific kinase antibodies: A novel cause of peripheral nerve hyperexcitability?. Muscle Nerve, 48: 819–823. doi: 10.1002/mus.23907
- Issue online: 28 OCT 2013
- Version of Record online: 26 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 29 MAY 2013 07:41AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 MAY 2013
- peripheral nerve hyperexcitability;
- myasthenia gravis;
Introduction: Antibodies that target the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction (NMJ) protein, muscle-specific kinase (MuSK), have been associated with myasthenia gravis (MG), often with cramps and fasciculations, after administration of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChE-I). Methods: In this report, 2 patients are described with elevated MuSK antibodies and evidence of peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH) unrelated to AChE-I medication. Results: Patient 1 presented with facial neuromyotonia and fasciculations, without overt weakness. EMG studies demonstrated myokymic discharges in facial muscles, with bursts of discharges after voluntary activation, and widespread fasciculation potentials in limb muscles. Patient 2 presented with bulbar weakness and fasciculations in the tongue and limbs, initially diagnosed as bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Subsequent investigation identified the presence of MuSK antibodies. Conclusions: We hypothesize that MuSK antibodies may induce these phenotypes through disruptive actions at the NMJ, in particular the binding of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) to MuSK via its collagen Q (ColQ) tail, producing a reduction in synaptic AChE activity. Muscle Nerve 48:819–823, 2013