Myasthenia Gravis is a muscle disorder, varcharacterized by progressive fatigue and weakness that worsens with muscle use. It normally occurs in the muscles around the eyes, mouth and throat, and the extremities. It is more common in young females, but can occur in both sexes. It begins usually between the ages of 20 and 40.
Causes of Myasthenia Gravis
The disease is probably caused by an autoimmune disorder that affects the neuromuscular junction. This is the gap between the motor nerve and the muscle cells. Nerve impulse cause packets of chemicals to be released that stimulate the muscle fibers. The function of the neuromuscular junction is impaired in Myasthenia gravis. Some people with this disorder will have abnormalities of the thymus gland, which is involved in the immune system. Some newborns will have a tumor of the thymus.
Signs and Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis
Symptoms of Myasthenia gravis include drooping eyelids, double vision (diplopia) and loss of normal facial expression. Difficulty swallowing, difficulty talking and difficulty breathing may occur. The arms and legs may become weak. The symptoms tend to worsen during the course of the day and tend to improve with rest.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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