Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis is disease that causes weakness in the muscles under your control.

Myasthenia gravis is disease that causes weakness in the muscles under your control. It happens because of a problem in communication between your nerves and muscles. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease. Your body’s own immune system makes antibodies that block or change some of the nerve signals to your muscles. This makes your muscles weaker. Common symptoms are trouble with eye and eyelid movement, facial expression and swallowing. But it can also affect other muscles. The weakness gets worse with activity, and better with rest. There are medicines to help improve nerve-to-muscle messages and make muscles stronger. With treatment, the muscle weakness often gets much better. Other drugs keep your body from making so many abnormal antibodies. There are also treatments which filter abnormal antibodies from the blood or add healthy antibodies from donated blood. Sometimes surgery to take out the thymus gland helps. For some people, myasthenia gravis can go into remission and they do not need medicines. The remission can be temporary or permanent. If you have myasthenia gravis, it is important to follow your treatment plan. If you do, you can expect your life to be normal or close to it.

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Patricia Barber
Patricia Barber
For the last 20 years, Pat has been helping patients and caregivers live better lives, advocate for change, and Virginia's "right hand" making sure the "i's" are dotted and the "t's" are crossed. She lives in Michigan and couldn't picture herself doing anything but helping the autoimmune community.

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