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August 1951

EFFECTS OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE (ACTH) ON PATIENTS WITH MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK

From the Departments of Medicine (Neurology) and Psychiatry, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and the Veterans Administration Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1951;66(2):163-170. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1951.02320080047004
Abstract

IN VIEW of the small number of patients with myasthenia gravis and the risk of administration of pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to these patients, a report of observations on the effect of administration of this drug to a relatively large group of patients with myasthenia gravis seemed justifiable.

Administration of ACTH to patients with myasthenia gravis was first begun in 1944 by Torda and Wolff.1 A partial remission, consisting essentially in the patient's ability to perform more work while taking significantly reduced amounts of neostigmine bromide, resulted from administration of the hormone. ACTH became commercially available in 1948, and confirmation of the first observations was subsequently reported.2

MATERIAL AND METHODS 

Subject Material.  —The effect of ACTH was studied in 15 patients. The series comprised men and women of ages from 18 to 61 yr. who had had myasthenia gravis from one to 17 yr. The patients were mildly

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