Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that affects voluntary muscle movements, resulting in weakness and fatigue. It is caused by the malfunctioning of the neuromuscular junction, where a nerve connects with a muscle fiber. Specifically, the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the receptors that receive nerve impulses, leading to a decrease in the number of receptors available for muscle contraction. The symptoms of MG can vary in severity and occur in different parts of the body, such as the eyes, face, throat, limbs, and torso. Common symptoms include double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, weak neck muscles, and respiratory problems. These symptoms typically worsen with prolonged activity and improve with rest. The diagnosis of MG is based on clinical manifestations, neurological examination, and laboratory tests such as the acetylcholine receptor antibody test, which measures the level of antibodies in the blood that attack the neuromuscular junction. Treatment options for MG include medications that increase the availability of neurotransmitters or decrease the activity of the immune system, plasmapheresis, and intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. Surgery to remove the thymus gland, which is often abnormal in MG patients, may also improve symptoms in some cases. Research is ongoing to better understand the underlying mechanisms of MG and to develop new therapies for disease management. Some promising areas of research include gene therapy, stem cell transplantation, and the use of monoclonal antibodies that specifically target the immune system. With early and effective treatment, many people with MG can lead normal, active lives.

From: Neurobiology

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