Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the muscles and their ability to communicate with the nerves. It results in muscle weakness, particularly in the face, neck, and limbs, that worsens with repeated use and improves with rest.
The exact cause of myasthenia gravis is not known, but it is thought to occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the receptors that allow nerve impulses to reach the muscles. This results in a breakdown in communication between the nerves and the muscles, leading to weakness and fatigue.
Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis typically involves a combination of a physical examination, blood tests, and nerve function tests.
Treatment for myasthenia gravis may include medications to increase the levels of acetylcholine, a chemical that helps nerve impulses reach the muscles, as well as immunosuppressive drugs to suppress the immune system and prevent further damage to the nerve receptors. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to remove the thymus gland, which is thought to play a role in the development of myasthenia gravis.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of myasthenia gravis, it’s important to seek medical attention. With appropriate treatment and management, many people with myasthenia gravis are able to lead fulfilling and active lives.