Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disease caused by a chronic autoimmune problem. The autoimmune disorder happens when the immune system produces antibodies that block neurotransmitters called acetylcholine from completing its signal. 14 to 20 out of every 100,000 people in the United States.
Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
It is characterized by the weakness and rapid fatigue of any of the skeletal muscle under your voluntary control. The name myasthenia gravis is of Latin and Greek origin, which means, “grave muscle weakness.” In spite of the meaning of the name, people with myasthenia gravis have a normal life expectancy. It is caused by a breakdown in the transmission of nerves and muscles. There is no cure as of today, but there are treatments to help relieve signs and symptoms. It is not contagious, but one of the causes of this disorder is genetic. Patients with family members suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or lupus are at higher risk of myasthenia gravis.
Myasthenia gravis symptoms tend to progress over time if left untreated. The main symptoms of myasthenia gravis are the weakness in the voluntary skeletal muscle. It mainly affects muscles that control eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing and swallowing. Weakness gets worse with more activity but improves with rest. Other common symptoms of myasthenia gravis are drooping eyelids, facial paralysis, problems walking up stairs, trouble talking, double vision, and a hoarse voice.
Mostly women are affected and diagnosed with this disorder as young adults, and men when they are over the age of 60. There is no preventing this disease, but avoiding few triggers like fever, emotional stress, overexertion, an illness, medications etc., will prevent aggravation of the disease. Symptoms of myasthenia gravis usually progress to maximum severity in three years, either stabilizing or improving after that.
At Integrated Neurology Services, we provide extensive treatment options to help patients with Myasthenia gravis get the care they need and deserve. If you are in the Northern Virginia area, call us today to schedule an appointment. Help is only a phone call or click away.