Myasthenia Gravis: A Severe Neuromuscular Disease

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Myasthenia Gravis: A Severe Neuromuscular Disease

Posted By Steve Forsing     January 8, 2019    

Body

Myasthenia gravis or MG is categorized as a neuromuscular disorder which is responsible for causing weakness in the skeletal muscles. These are the muscles primarily in charge of body movements made by an individual. MG hampers the connectivity between the muscles and nerve cells. It is considered to be the most common primary disorder for neuromuscular transmission. Although the disease is rare but is regarded to be of a serious nature.

 

Important Information

  1. Myasthenia Gravis is a rare disease affecting 20 people out of 1, 00,000.
  2. Individuals above 40 years of age are mostly a victim to the disease.
  3. The most probable cure for it is efficient management of symptoms.

How to Detect the Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis?

The major symptom of Myasthenia gravis is when you lose the power to control the voluntary skeletal muscles. Voluntary skeletal muscles are the muscles which are controlled by a person like blinking of eyelids, smiling etc. The skeletal muscles loose the ability to contract or expand because they fail to act in response to the nerve impulse. This can be referred to as a blocked communication or improper transmission of impulse between the nerve cells and muscles endings.

In Myasthenia gravis the body suffers from muscle weakness. The condition of the patient generally improves after taking rest but degrades after exertion:

  • The speech becomes unclear and talking becomes difficult
  • Trouble in using the staircase or lifting heavy objects
  • Paralysis of facial muscles
  • Efficiency of lungs drops and breathing becomes erratic
  • Swallowing and chewing of food or water becomes difficult
  • Person is always tired or fatigued
  • Voice becomes hoarse or shaky
  • Drooping of eyelids
  • Eyesight becomes weak
  • Problem of Double Vision

The point to be noted is that not all symptoms will be visible in all patients and neither the degree of weakness will be the same. A person may feel weaker one day and stronger the other day. The severity of the disease increases with the time if left untreated.

What are the Causes of Myasthenia Gravis?

 

The neuromuscular abnormality is caused because of autoimmune disorder. In an autoimmune disorder, the immune system of the patient starts attacking the healthy tissues of the body by mistake. In a perfectly healthy body, the antibodies target harmful and foreign bodies that enter the body. But in a patient, the same antibodies start attacking neurotransmitter substance called ad acetylcholine. This acetylcholine is the key for a flawless communication system between nerve cells and muscles resulting in severe weakness of the muscles.

The actual factors leading to an autoimmune reaction is still not clear to the fraternity of the doctors. According to some experts, a particular virus or bacteria might be responsible for prompting the body to attack acetylcholine.

As per the general trend seen in the diagnosis of the patients, the patients are generally over the age of 40 years. Usually, female patients are likely to be diagnosed in early years whereas male patients have visible symptoms after they reach the age of 60 years

 What are the Treatment Options for Myasthenia Gravis?

 

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for this disorder. The only aim while dealing with Myasthenia Gravis is to manage the symptoms of disease. The activities of the immune system have to be controlled to keep the negative effects at bay.

Medication

Doctors advise the use of corticosteroids and immune suppressants in order to repress the immune system of the patient. The said medications are prescribed to reduce the erratic the response of the immune system of the body that generally occurs in this disorder. To address the problem of diminishing communication between nerves and muscles Pyridostigmine (Mestinon), cholinesterase inhibitors can also be taken.

Vital Changes in Lifestyle

MG is a horrendous disease but the symptoms of the diseases can be lessened with a few subtle changes in the lifestyle of a person. A person should take adequate rest to ensure that the muscles can get revitalize during the same. If your vision is getting hampered and are troubled by double vision, your doctor might recommend you to wear an eye patch. Any stressful situation can worsen the condition. Prolong heat exposure can cause the same to a patient.

These are the ways through which an individual can ease the severity of MG. kindly ensure transparency with your doctor. Your doctor should know all the medications you are taking because certain drugs might aggravate the condition of the patient.

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