Navigating the diagnosis journey: Depression and Myasthenia Gravis



Poster Number: V415


Neelam Goyal, Stanford Neuroscience Health Center, Rachelle Rodriguez, Janssen Global Services, Commercial Data Science, Zia Choudhry, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Caroline Brethenoux, Human Dot Plus, Jacqueline Pesa, Janssen Scientific Affairs, LLC, Sindhu Ramchandren, Janssen R&D, LLC, Kavita Gandhi, Janssen Global Commercial Strategy Organization, Kristin Heerlein, Janssen Global Services, Medical Affairs, Ashley Anderson, Houston Methodist Hospital

Background: Individuals with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) have higher rates of depression in the United States compared to the general population (GP).[1-3]

Objective: To characterize depression experiences during the pre-diagnosis phase in individuals with MG.

Methods: A research study was conducted using a proprietary AI-powered methodology to examine English-language public-domain online conversations about MG from message boards, topical sites, social networks, and blogs in the 12 months prior to and including August 2023.

Results: Of all MG-related conversations assessed, 9901 about MG were identified. The pre-diagnosis phase represented online conversations describing the period between the initial onset of symptoms and suspected MG to the official diagnosis. This pre-diagnosis phase of the MG journey accounted for 21% (n=2093/9901) of discussions. Feelings of depression were described in 14% of posts (n=293/2093) during the pre-diagnosis phase. Depression (n=293) was categorized by 4 main themes: progressive worsening (8%), impact on quality of life (2%), ineffective treatments (2%), and lack of control (2%). An individual described their emotions related to progressive worsening (8%) and their physical health as “So depressed! This is horrible; I can hardly function”. Lack of control (2%) was characterized by the feeling there is not a cure or limited treatment options, the continued worsening of their symptoms, and feeling they no longer had control over their lifestyles or day-to-day routines.

Conclusions: Individuals with MG experience depression as early as the pre-diagnosis phase of the MG journey. The proportion experiencing depression during this early-phase was higher than the US GP average, but lower than previous MG estimates. Understanding the depression trajectory, potential triggers, and impacts can inform health care providers and caregivers to provide early, interventional mental health support.

1.SAMHSA 2022.
2.Nadali J, et al. Brain Behav. 2023;13(1):e2840.
3.Dewilde S, et al. BMJ Open. 2023;31;13(1):e066445.