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Myasthenia Gravis

What is myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a complex, autoimmune disorder in which antibodies destroy neuromuscular connections. This causes problems with the nerves that communicate with muscles. MG affects the voluntary muscles of the body, especially the eyes, mouth, throat, and limbs.

In the US, MG affects about 20 people in 100,000. Women affected by MG generally see onset of the condition by age 20 to 30; the onset of MG in men most commonly occurs after the age of 50. However, MG can occur at any age. Males are more often affected than females.

What causes myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis may be inherited as a rare, genetic disease, it may be acquired by babies born to mothers with MG, or the disorder may develop spontaneously later in life.

Treatment of myasthenia gravis:

Specific treatment for myasthenia gravis will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the condition
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference

There is no cure for MG, but the symptoms can sometimes be controlled. Myasthenia gravis is a life-long medical condition and the key to medically managing MG is early detection.

The goal of treatment is to prevent respiratory problems and provide adequate nutritional care since the swallowing and breathing muscles are affected by this condition.