Autoimmune neuromuscular disorders affecting peripheral nerves, neuromuscular junction or muscle have a wide clinical spectrum with diverse pathogenetic mechanisms. Peripheral nervous system may be targeted in the context of complex immune reactions involving different cytokines, antigen-presenting cells, B cells and different types of T cells. Various immunomodulating and cytotoxic treatments block proliferation or activation of immune cells by different mechanisms attempting to control the response of the immune system and limit target organ injury. Most treatment protocols for autoimmune neuromuscular disorders are based on the use of corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulins and plasmapheresis, with cytotoxic agents mostly used as steroid-sparing medications. More recently, development of specific monoclonal antibodies targeting individual cell types allowed a different approach targeting specific immune pathways, but these new treatments are also associated with various adverse effects and their long-term efficacy is still unknown.
Keywords: Autoimmune, neuromuscular, neuropathy, myositis, myasthenia gravis, treatment, pathogenetic mechanisms, corticosteroids, myelin proteins, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), vasopressin, angiotensin, pharmacology