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Myasthenia Gravis

What is Myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder that produces weakness and irregularly rapid fatigue of voluntary muscles. In MG, the immune system attacks the body; the acetylcholine (ACH) receptor sites at the neuromuscular junction (point where the nerve endings join the muscle surface) are the targets.

MG affects approximately 20 per 100,000 people worldwide. Currently, the cause of MG is unknown. The disorder is seldom fatal, though it can be life-threatening in situations where muscle weakness interferes with respiration (breathing).

The first noticeable symptom is often eye muscle weakness, resulting in droopy eyelids (ptosis) or double vision (diplopia).

Other symptoms may include:

  • weakness in muscles used for chewing, swallowing and talking
  • severe fatigue
  • an unstable or waddling gait
  • arm weakness resulting in an inability to raise the arms over the head
  • hand and finger weakness
  • breathing difficulty

 

Fact Sheet on Myasthenia Gravis

 

Media

Myasthenia Gravis: A Neurologist’s Perspective
Video Presentation

Presenter: Dr. Michael Nicolle
Description: Dr. Nicolle gives his own perspective as a neurologist on Myasthenia Gravis.
Length: 1:32:05

Myasthenia Gravis — Are You Experiencing Symptoms?
PSA

Presenter: Myasthenia Gravis Coalition of Canada
Description: Watch this brief video for a summary of symptoms and description of MG. The key is early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
Length: 2:53

 

Publications

Guidelines for treatment of autoimmune neuromuscular transmission disorders
European Journal of Neurology, 2010

Information for Children and Adults Diagnosed with Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes

 

Useful Links

MG Association of British Columbia
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