Myasthenia gravis

Common Name(s)

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease that impacts an affected individual’s control of the skeletal muscles. The condition is typically seen in women below the age of 40, and in men above the age of 60. However, there are cases where MG has developed in individuals of all ages.

Symptoms of this condition may include muscle weakness, drooping eyelids, double vision, difficulty swallowing or eating, trouble talking, being unable to fully control facial expressions, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. The muscle weakness appears to increase after the individual is active, but then improves after rest.

Acetylcholine is a chemical that is normally present in the nervous system and is important for passing messages from the brain to the skeletal muscles. In individuals with MG, the body produces antibodies (proteins that are used to detect harmful agents in the body) which mistakenly attack certain sites that are responsible for receiving the acetylcholine messages. As a result, the symptoms of MG occur since the nervous system cannot communicate properly with the muscles. This response is an example of an autoimmune disease, where the body mistakenly begins attacking itself.

Removal of the thymus gland (an organ that is part of the immune system), blood plasma exchanges (where harmful antibodies are removed), and the use of certain types of medications are all current forms of treatment for MG. Other ways to manage the symptoms may include avoiding stressful situations and getting plenty of rest.

Although there is no cure for MG at this time, there are many treatment options available. Doctors seek help from various therapists and community services to provide support and care for families. Talk with a doctor or specialist if you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis to discuss the most current treatment options.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Myasthenia gravis" for support, advocacy or research.

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Muscular Dystrophy Association

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

Last Updated: 15 Jul 2015

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Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc.

MGFA is committed to finding a cure for myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, improving treatment options, and providing information and support to people with myasthenia gravis through research, education, community programs, and advocacy.

Last Updated: 29 Apr 2014

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General Support Organizations

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How do you compare to others with this condition?

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Myasthenia gravis" for support, advocacy or research.

Logo
Muscular Dystrophy Association

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

http://www.mdausa.org

Last Updated: 15 Jul 2015

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Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc.

MGFA is committed to finding a cure for myasthenia gravis and closely related disorders, improving treatment options, and providing information and support to people with myasthenia gravis through research, education, community programs, and advocacy.

http://www.myasthenia.org

Last Updated: 29 Apr 2014

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General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Myasthenia gravis" returned 765 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Presacral Mass Discovered during Pregnancy followed by Myasthenia Gravis.
 

Author(s): Barak Benjamin, Roy Zaltzman, Baruch Shpitz, Carlos R Gordon, Shmuel Avital

Journal: Isr. Med. Assoc. J.. 2015 May;17(5):318-20.

 

Last Updated: 2 Jul 2015

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Recurrent anterior hip dislocation in a patient with myasthenia gravis: a case report.
 

Author(s): Gökhan Özkazanlı, Özgür Karaman, Kubilay Beng, Hasan Hilmi Muratlı

Journal: Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2015 ;49(1):106-10.

 

Traumatic anterior hip dislocation is a rare condition compared to posterior dislocation and recurrent anterior hip dislocation is encountered even less. Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by various degrees of muscle weakness. Closed reduction ...

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2015

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Guidelines for pre-clinical assessment of the acetylcholine receptor--specific passive transfer myasthenia gravis model-Recommendations for methods and experimental designs.
 

Author(s): Linda L Kusner, Mario Losen, Angela Vincent, Jon Lindstrom, Socrates Tzartos, Konstantinos Lazaridis, Pilar Martinez-Martinez

Journal: Exp. Neurol.. 2015 Aug;270():3-10.

 

Antibodies against the muscle acetylcholine receptor (AChR) are the most common cause of myasthenia gravis (MG). Passive transfer of AChR antibodies from MG patients into animals reproduces key features of human disease, including antigenic modulation of the AChR, complement-mediated ...

Last Updated: 13 Jun 2015

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Myasthenia gravis" returned 53 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Myasthenia gravis associated with invasive malignant thymoma: two case reports and a review of the literature.
 

Author(s): Said R Beydoun, Hui Gong, Nazely Ashikian, Richard Alan Rison

Journal:

 

Approximately ten to fifteen percent of patients with myasthenia gravis are found to have a thymoma, and twenty to twenty-five percent of patients with thymoma have myasthenia gravis. Thymomatous myasthenia gravis tends to have a difficult clinical course and poor prognosis.

Last Updated: 23 Oct 2014

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Does repeat thymectomy improve symptoms in patients with refractory myasthenia gravis?
 

Author(s): Jonathan K Y Ng, Calvin S H Ng, Malcolm J Underwood, Kelvin K W Lau

Journal: Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2014 Mar;18(3):376-80.

 

A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: Does repeat thymectomy improve symptoms in patients with refractory myasthenia gravis after thymectomy? A total of 189 papers were found using the reported search, ...

Last Updated: 17 Feb 2014

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Is thymectomy in non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis of any benefit?
 

Author(s): Andres Diaz, Edward Black, Joel Dunning

Journal: Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2014 Mar;18(3):381-9.

 

A best evidence topic in thoracic surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was if thymectomy in non-thymomatous myasthenia gravis was of any benefit? Overall, 137 papers were found using the reported search, of which 16 represented the best evidence ...

Last Updated: 17 Feb 2014

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

 
 
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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Exercise for Stable Myasthenia Gravis
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Myasthenia Gravis

 

Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

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Phase II Trial of Rituximab In Myasthenia Gravis
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Myasthenia Gravis

 

Last Updated: 6 Aug 2015

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Benefits and Tolerance of Exercise in Patients With Generalized and Stabilized Myasthenia Gravis
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Myasthenia Gravis

 

Last Updated: 2 Jul 2015

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