What is Myasthenia Gravis?
Myasthenia gravis is a rare, chronic disorder which causes weakness and forcible fatigue of the muscles.
The muscle decreased strength develops slowly, affecting the facial muscles first and causing symptoms that causes drooping eyelids, double vision, and talking, chewing, swallowing, or breathing can be challenging.
A similar cause of myasthenia gravis is not yet known. But it is known that the antibodies built by the body’s immune system to fight infection instead it attacks the normal muscle tissue.
Myasthenia gravis arises at any age in both women and men. But it is most very common in young women who have issues with the thymus gland.
Myasthenia gravis treatment includes medicine to help decrease and improve muscle weakness. In some cases, surgery to remove the thymus gland may be beneficial.
In general, myasthenia gravis signs and symptoms may include:
- Drooping eyelid, called ptosis
- Double vision or blurred vision
- Weakness in the arms and legs
- Slurred speech
- Problems with chewing or swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Rapid fatigue
Symptoms of myasthenia gravis can be duplicated of other neuromuscular disorders, as also some diseases of the eyes and brain. It is very important to get an immediate diagnosis.
What Causes Myasthenia Gravis?
Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease. Researchers do not know what triggers the immune system dysfunction and do not believe it is an inherited condition.
Symptoms of myasthenia gravis may come at any age. Young adults and those older than age 50 are more at risk. Women tend to get myasthenia gravis at an earlier age than men.
Myasthenia Gravis Treatment
Most patients require ongoing medical treatments for myasthenia gravis, including:
- Medications that control the immune system
- Medications that improve the transmission between nerve and muscle at the neuromuscular junction
- Plasmapheresis, a procedure that removes abnormal antibodies from the blood
- Immunoglobulin, a blood product that reduces the immune system’s attack on the body’s own tissues
There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but today’s treatments can effectively treat the disease to reduce symptoms.
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