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Home :: Neurology Disorders

Myasthenia Gravis

 

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Myasthenia Gravis is a chronic disease characterised by abnormal weakness and fatigabilityon exertion. It is due to a shortage of an enzyme called Acetylcholine as a result of acetyle choline receptor deficiency.Acetyle choline is necessary for muscle contraction. Unlike many other neurological disorders, myasthenia gravis does not cause progressive muscle atrophy (wasting away or degeneration). The thymus gland, part of the immune system, is abnormal in most MG cases. Some people with MG have benign (noncancerous) tumors of the thymus gland called thymomas.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that results in progressive skeletal muscle weakness. With current therapies, however, most cases of myasthenia gravis are not as "grave" as the name implies. The cause of myasthenia gravis is a breakdown in the normal communication between nerves and muscles. This myasthenia gravis homepage contains a collection of links to excellent sources of information needed by patients and families of patients to help them understand their disease, treatments and the side effects of medications. Today, however, most cases of MG are not as "grave" as the name implies. In fact, most people with MG can expect to live normal or nearly normal lives. In early stages, myasthenia gravis primarily affects muscles that control eye movement (extraocular muscles) and those that control facial expression, chewing, and swallowing. Myasthenia gravis can affect people of any age, but it's more common in women younger than 40 or older than 70, and in men older than 50. The muscles that control breathing and neck and limb movements may also be affected. There's no cure for myasthenia gravis, but treatments are available to help control the signs and symptoms of the condition.

Myasthenia gravis (sometimes abbreviated MG; from the Greek myastheneia , lit. Skeletal muscles are primarily muscle fibers that contain bands or striations (striated muscles) that are connected to bone. At about 14 cases per 100,000 (in the U.S.), it is one of the lesser known autoimmune disorders . The antigens and basic disorder mechanisms are known. The disorder affects only the function of your muscles, and the muscle weakness you experience improves when you rest Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often, but not always, involved in the disorder. If untreated, the disorder may affect muscles that control breathing (respiration), causing acute respiratory failure. Myasthenia gravis may cause double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulties with speech, chewing, swallowing and breathing, as well as weakness of your limbs.

Causes of Myasthenia Gravis

The common Causes of Myasthenia Gravis :

  • The cause of MG is unknown, but it is clearly an autoimmune disease in which the specific antibody completely has been characterized.
  • The cause of autoimmune disorders such as myasthenia gravis is unknown.
  • Females and people with certain human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types have a genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases.
  • Some factors can make myasthenia gravis worse, including fatigue, illness, stress, extreme heat, and some medications, such as beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, quinine and some antibiotics.
  • Myasthenia gravis may be inherited as a rare, genetic disease, it may be acquired by babies born to mothers with MG, or the disorder may develop spontaneously later in childhood.

Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis

Some common Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis :

  • Difficulty in breathing, talking, chewing or swallowing
  • Double vision
  • Muscle weakness in your arms or legs
  • Weak eyelids
  • Weakness in arms, hands, fingers, legs, and neck
  • Change in facial expression
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty speaking or smiling
  • Fatigue
  • Drooping head

Treament of Myasthenia Gravis

Here is the list of the methods for treating Myasthenia Gravis :

  • Treatments involving the immune system include injections of intravenous immunoglobulin, immunosuppressive medications, and plasmapheresis (removal of antibodies from the blood).
  • Patients with generalized weakness require transport to the hospital, and provisions for active airway intervention should be made in route.
  • Some factors leading to a myasthenic crisis include infection, fever, medication effects, or even stress.
  • Patients in frank respiratory arrest should be intubated and ventilated prior to transport, if possible.
  • Drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors, such as pyridostigmine (Mestinon) and neostigmine (Prostigmin), enhance communication between nerves and muscles.
  • This surgery is done for persons with MG who have tumors, as well as for individuals without tumors it improves symptoms in more than half of individuals without tumors.
  • A procedure that removes abnormal antibodies from the blood and replaces the child's blood with normal antibodies through donated blood.
  • Surgical removal of the thymus gland the role of the thymus gland in MG is not fully understood, and the thymectomy may or may not improve a child's symptoms.