myasthenia gravis


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myasthenia gravis

(mīəsthē`nēə grä`vĭs), chronic disorder of the muscles characterized by weakness and a tendency to tire easily. It is caused by an autoimmune attack on the acetylcholine receptor of the post synaptic neuromuscular junction. The initiating event leading to antibody production is unknown. The disease is most common between the ages of 20 and 40 and more frequent in women. The muscles of the neck, throat, lips, tongue, face, and eyes are primarily involved. Exertion quickly brings on difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and talking. The eyelids may droop, and there are visual disorders. Myasthenia gravis is transmitted passively to fetuses from infected mothers, a syndrome call neonatal myasthenia. Congenital myasthenia is a rare autosomal recessive disorder of neuromuscular transmission beginning in childhood, usually with ophthalmoplegia. Life-threatening myasthenic crisis, in which the diaphragm is affected and the patient has respiratory failure, occurs in 10% of the patients. Treatment of the disease includes the use of cholinesterase inhibitors, thymectomy, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive agents and plasmapheresis (see apheresisapheresis
, or hemapheresis
, any procedure in which blood is drawn from a donor or patient and a component (platelets, plasma, or white blood cells) is separated out, the remaining blood components being returned to the body.
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). Prolonged rest is likely to restore some of the muscle function; restricted activity at all times and complete rest during periods of aggravation of the illness are necessary.

myasthenia gravis

[‚mī·əs·thēn·ē·ə ′grav·əs]
(medicine)
A muscle disorder of unknown etiology characterized by varying degrees of weakness and excessive fatigability of voluntary muscle.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sevoflurane as a sole anaesthetic for thymectomy in myasthenia gravis.
Influence of adult thymectomy on immunocompetence in patients with myasthenia gravis.
A systematic review of diagnostic studies in myasthenia gravis.
Once myasthenia gravis was considered the diagnosis, other possibilities were ignored until they practically smacked the physician in the forehead.
A MEETING of the Myasthenia Gravis Support Group will be held tomorrow in the Walton Centre, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, at 2pm-4pm.
Accordant Health supplies DM solutions for more than a dozen chronic conditions such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, lupus and hemophilia.
Women with myasthenia gravis are more likely than those without the disease to experience complications during pregnancy, a retrospective population-based study has shown.
The drug was first approved by the FDA as a treatment for myasthenia gravis, a chronic neuromuscular disease.
Myasthenia gravis, which literally means grave muscle weakness, affects about 37,000 Americans.
It took two-and-a-half years for Assumpta to be diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, a rare disease which leads to massively fluctuating muscle weaknesses.