Myasthenia Gravis

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Myasthenia Gravis

Q1. What is myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a neuromuscular disorder which causes a defect in the voluntary muscles of the body, which hampers the movement of the body. It generally occurs when there is a defective connection between neurons and muscles, which results in muscle weakness.

Q2. What are the symptoms of myasthenia gravis?

Symptoms involve:

-Eye problem i.e. Drooping of one or both eyelids (ptosis).

-Double vision (diplopia), which may be horizontal or vertical.

-Facial paralysis

-Difficulty in swallowing

-Breathing difficulty

-fatigue, etc.

Q3. What causes myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis is caused due to lack in the communication of nerve impulse to muscles. It occurs when exchanging of information between the axon(nerve) and muscle is disturbed at the place where nerve cells connect with the muscles.

Q4. Is myasthenia a hereditary disease?

It’s an autoimmune disease, but not a hereditary disease.

Q5. Is there any pain with myasthenia gravis?

Pain is not commonly associated with this disease, only muscle weakness is there.

Q6. Can stress cause myasthenia gravis?

Yes, stress in any form triggers affects myasthenia gravis. It may exacerbate symptoms of weakness.

Q9. How to prevent myasthenia gravis?

-Maintain proper hygiene

-Do not become overheated or too cold

-Avoid overexertion

-keep stress at bay.

Q7. Is myasthenia gravis a progressive disease?

Myasthenia gravis is not a progressive disease. Muscle weakness in myasthenia gravis is temporary and does not lead to any loss of functioning of the muscles.

Q8. Is myastheniacontagious?

It is not a contagious disease. It develops when a chemical which is required for muscle contraction get blocked because normal receptors cells of the muscles get attacked by the body’s own antibodies.

Q9. Is myasthenia gravis a disability?

Myasthenia gravis is a serious muscle weakness If myasthenia gravis begins to affect your muscles to a larger extent than one may not be able to do his daily activities.

Q10. Is exercise good for myasthenia gravis?

Yes, exercise is good for the persons who are affected by myasthenia gravis as exercise reduces fatigue in patients. One should do mild exercises regularly like:

-Walking

-Swimming

-Jogging.

Q11. How to diagnose myasthenia gravis?

A blood test which can detect the presence of immune molecules or acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Most patients with myasthenia gravis have abnormally elevated levels of these antibodies.

Q12. Is myasthenia gravis life threatening?

Myasthenia gravis is life-threatening if it affects the respiratory muscles which make the person difficult to breathe on their own.

Q13. How do you test for myasthenia gravis?

Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody test.

Q14. The complication associated with myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenic crisis is a common complication of Myasthenia Gravis. In the majority of the patients with the myasthenic crisis, Endotracheal intubation is required.

Q15. What can trigger myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis is caused by a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. It occurs when there is no communication or disturbed interaction at the neuromuscular junction.

– Stress, fatigue, also worsen the symptoms.

Some drugs may exacerbate symptoms of myasthenia gravis like:

• Chloroquine

• Prednisone

• Lithium

• Magnesium

Differential diagnosis:

-Thymus tumor

-Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 is not properly absorbed)

-Overactive/underactive thyroid (as thyroid gland secretes the hormone that regulates body metabolism. If the thyroid is underactive, the body uses energy more slowly, and in case of overactive.

For more information, you can visit NIH and Wikipedia.

Myasthenia Gravis

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