It is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease affecting neuromuscular transmission characterized by varying degrees of weakness of muscles of the body.
It is purely a motor disorder with no effects on sensation and co-ordination.
It affects both cranial and peripheral nerves.
It occurs when there is an abnormal communication between the nerve and muscle at the neuromuscular junction.
In the myasthenia gravis, is patient has muscle weakness that controls eye and eyelids movement, facial expression, talking, chewing, swallowing.
This disorder also controls the breathing, neck, and limb movements.
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Table of Contents
Causes and risk factors of myasthenia gravis
In myasthenia gravis, the immune system produces antibodies that block or destroy many of the muscles’ receptor sites for a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. With fewer receptor sites available, your muscles receive more periodic nerve signals, resulting in weakness.
Thymus gland (organ of the immune system) abnormality: it can produce antibodies that cause autoimmunity
I also wrote a tutorial on How Can I Boost My Immune System? that you can follow.
Signs and symptoms of myasthenia gravis
- Drooping of one or both eyelids (ptosis)
- Blurred or double vision (diplopia) due to the weakness of the muscles that control eye movements
- A change in facial expression
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Impaired speech (dysarthria)
- Weakness in the arms, hands, fingers, legs, and neck.
- Muscles Weakness
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Is myasthenia gravis hereditary?
No, Myasthenia gravis is not hereditary, and it is not contagious. It develops later in life when antibodies in the body attack typical receptors on muscle.
A form of myasthenia gravis develops in the fetus when a woman with myasthenia gravis passes the antibodies to the fetus. It resolves in 2 to 3 months.
Myasthenia gravis prognosis
Individuals with myasthenia treatment can significantly improve their muscle weakness and can lead almost everyday lives.
In cases of myasthenia gravis, temporarily or permanently, muscle weakness may disappear completely to discontinue the medication.
Also see: How Do You Get Bell’s Palsy?
Diagnostic evolution of myasthenia gravis
- History and neurological examination
- Immunological study
- CT SCAN
Treatment of myasthenia gravis
Cholinesterase inhibitors: it can improve muscle contraction and muscle strength.
Steroid and immunosuppressant for autoimmunity.
Plasmapheresis: plasma of the blood is removed and separated from blood cells. The blood cells are then put back into the body, which manufactures more plasma to make up for removes. Or can replace blood with donor’s blood.
Thymectomy: surgical removal of thymus gland to reduce autoimmunity.
Suggested read: Is Multiple Sclerosis Genetic?
The outlook for myasthenia gravis depends on a lot of factors. Some people will have mild symptoms.
Talk with a doctor about what you can do to minimize the severity of your myasthenia gravis. Early treatment can limit disease progression in many people.
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