Causes of LEMS

LEMSis caused by the body's natural defences (theimmune system) mistakenly attacking and damaging the nerves.

Normally, nerve signals travel down the nerves and stimulate the nerve endings to release a chemical called acetylcholine.This chemical then helps activate the muscles.

If the nerve endings are damaged, the amount ofacetylcholine they produce decreases, which means nerve signals don't reach the muscles properly.

It's not known what triggers the immune system to attack the nerves. It's often associated with lung cancer, but can occur in people without cancer.

LEMS is not inherited.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018