Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that inhibits neuromuscular transmissions by blocking the acetylcholine receptors with autoantibodies. Myasthenia Gravis results in progressive skeletal muscle weakness. Myasthenia Gravis causes rapid fatigue during and right after physical exertion, which can only improve by resting. Initially, the muscle weakness affects the extra-ocular muscles (can lead to diplopia) and muscles controlling facial expressions, chewing, and swallowing. As Myasthenia Gravis progresses, the respiratory muscles and skeletal muscles are affected sometimes leading to acute respiratory failure.
Unlike most neurological disorders, Myasthenia Gravis does not cause progressive muscle atrophy. Symptoms may include the following:
- muscle weakness (in eyes, face, and neck)
- difficulty swallowing
- difficulty chewing
- difficulty speaking
- double vision
- fatigue (especially in the evenings)
Myasthenia Gravis symptoms can be aggravated by emotional stress, general illness, viral respiratory infection, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, etc. Over a quarter of patients experience improved symptoms without treatment. Consult with a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.