Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome Information Page

Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome Information Page


Search Disorders

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports research on neuromuscular disorders such as LEMS with the ultimate goal of finding ways to treat, prevent, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Lambert-Eaton Syndrome

×
What research is being done?

The NINDS supports research on neuromuscular disorders such as LEMS with the ultimate goal of finding ways to treat, prevent, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Lambert-Eaton Syndrome

The NINDS supports research on neuromuscular disorders such as LEMS with the ultimate goal of finding ways to treat, prevent, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Lambert-Eaton Syndrome


Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a disorder of the neuromuscular junction-the site where nerve cells meet muscle cells and help activate the muscles. It is caused by a disruption of electrical impulses between these nerve and muscle cells. LEMS is an autoimmune condition; in such disorders the immune system, which normally protects the body from foreign organisms, mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. The disruption of electrical impulses is associated with antibodies produced as a consequence of this autoimmunity. Symptoms include muscle weakness, a tingling sensation in the affected areas, fatigue, and dry mouth. LEMS is closely associated with cancer, in particular small cell lung cancer. More than half the individuals diagnosed with LEMS also develop small cell lung cancer. LEMS may appear up to 3 years before cancer is diagnosed.

×
Definition

Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a disorder of the neuromuscular junction-the site where nerve cells meet muscle cells and help activate the muscles. It is caused by a disruption of electrical impulses between these nerve and muscle cells. LEMS is an autoimmune condition; in such disorders the immune system, which normally protects the body from foreign organisms, mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. The disruption of electrical impulses is associated with antibodies produced as a consequence of this autoimmunity. Symptoms include muscle weakness, a tingling sensation in the affected areas, fatigue, and dry mouth. LEMS is closely associated with cancer, in particular small cell lung cancer. More than half the individuals diagnosed with LEMS also develop small cell lung cancer. LEMS may appear up to 3 years before cancer is diagnosed.

Treatment
Treatment

There is no cure for LEMS. Treatment is directed at decreasing the autoimmune response (through the use of steroids, plasmapheresis, or high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin) or improving the transmission of the disrupted electrical impulses by giving drugs such as di-amino pyridine or pyridostigmine bromide (Mestinon). For patients with small cell lung cancer, treatment of the cancer is the first priority.

×
Treatment

There is no cure for LEMS. Treatment is directed at decreasing the autoimmune response (through the use of steroids, plasmapheresis, or high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin) or improving the transmission of the disrupted electrical impulses by giving drugs such as di-amino pyridine or pyridostigmine bromide (Mestinon). For patients with small cell lung cancer, treatment of the cancer is the first priority.

Definition
Definition

Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a disorder of the neuromuscular junction-the site where nerve cells meet muscle cells and help activate the muscles. It is caused by a disruption of electrical impulses between these nerve and muscle cells. LEMS is an autoimmune condition; in such disorders the immune system, which normally protects the body from foreign organisms, mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. The disruption of electrical impulses is associated with antibodies produced as a consequence of this autoimmunity. Symptoms include muscle weakness, a tingling sensation in the affected areas, fatigue, and dry mouth. LEMS is closely associated with cancer, in particular small cell lung cancer. More than half the individuals diagnosed with LEMS also develop small cell lung cancer. LEMS may appear up to 3 years before cancer is diagnosed.

Treatment
Treatment

There is no cure for LEMS. Treatment is directed at decreasing the autoimmune response (through the use of steroids, plasmapheresis, or high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin) or improving the transmission of the disrupted electrical impulses by giving drugs such as di-amino pyridine or pyridostigmine bromide (Mestinon). For patients with small cell lung cancer, treatment of the cancer is the first priority.

Prognosis
Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with LEMS varies. Those with LEMS not associated with malignancy have a benign overall prognosis. Generally the presence of cancer determines the prognosis.

×

The prognosis for individuals with LEMS varies. Those with LEMS not associated with malignancy have a benign overall prognosis. Generally the presence of cancer determines the prognosis.

Prognosis
Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with LEMS varies. Those with LEMS not associated with malignancy have a benign overall prognosis. Generally the presence of cancer determines the prognosis.

Definition

Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a disorder of the neuromuscular junction-the site where nerve cells meet muscle cells and help activate the muscles. It is caused by a disruption of electrical impulses between these nerve and muscle cells. LEMS is an autoimmune condition; in such disorders the immune system, which normally protects the body from foreign organisms, mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. The disruption of electrical impulses is associated with antibodies produced as a consequence of this autoimmunity. Symptoms include muscle weakness, a tingling sensation in the affected areas, fatigue, and dry mouth. LEMS is closely associated with cancer, in particular small cell lung cancer. More than half the individuals diagnosed with LEMS also develop small cell lung cancer. LEMS may appear up to 3 years before cancer is diagnosed.

Treatment

There is no cure for LEMS. Treatment is directed at decreasing the autoimmune response (through the use of steroids, plasmapheresis, or high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin) or improving the transmission of the disrupted electrical impulses by giving drugs such as di-amino pyridine or pyridostigmine bromide (Mestinon). For patients with small cell lung cancer, treatment of the cancer is the first priority.

Prognosis

The prognosis for individuals with LEMS varies. Those with LEMS not associated with malignancy have a benign overall prognosis. Generally the presence of cancer determines the prognosis.

What research is being done?

The NINDS supports research on neuromuscular disorders such as LEMS with the ultimate goal of finding ways to treat, prevent, and cure them.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Lambert-Eaton Syndrome

Patient Organizations
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe
MI
Eastpointe, MI 48021-2227
Tel: 586-776-3900; 800-598-4668
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza
Suite 1500
Chicago
IL
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: 800-572-1717
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury
CT
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100; Voice Mail: 800-999-NORD (6673)