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A whole genome search for risk genes in myasthenia gravis
Myasthenia gravis (MG) has a complex aetiology where both environmental triggers and genetic risk factors contribute to disease susceptibility, progression and heterogeneity. In addition to the known genetic risk factor of HLA it is likely that other genes are involved in MG.
One approach to identifying such factors has been to examine known genes that possibly have a role in MG, suspected from their documented biological role. This “candidate” gene based approach compares gene polymorphism in affected cases versus unaffected controls One problem with this approach is that only known genes can be tested and given there are over 20,000 genes in the human genome this has until recently not been financially or practically possible. The alternative approach of using genetic linkage analysis of families with multiple cases of MG is also problematic as it is not possible to collect sufficient multicase families to take this forward.