Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder that manifests with varying levels of skeletal muscles weaknesses. The weakness is known to aggravate with increased body activity specially if the body has been resting for an extended period. Muscles such as those that control facial expression, eyelids, talking, chewing and swallowing are more likely to be affected that those that control the limbs, neck and respiratory system.
Myasthenia Gravis Drugs
- Prednisone Oral
- Veripred 20 oral
- Prednisone Intensol oral
- Mestinon oral
- Dexamethasone oral
- Mestinon Timespan oral
- dexamethasone sodium phosphate injection
- Dexamethasone Intensol oral
- Gammagard Liquid injection
- Orapred ODT oral
- pyridostigmine bromide oral
- DexPak 13 Day Oral
- Octagam intravenous
Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms
The condition is most common in women under the age of 40 years and men over 60 years. The disease is characterized by mild symptoms that are not easily discerned as myasthenia gravis. In some instances, some of the noticeable signs include:
- Impaired speech
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Weakness in the eyelids impairing their functionality
The weakness also manifested varies from one patient to the other. The condition may be restricted in the eyes or spread across beyond the respiratory muscles. The signs whose severity varies across patients include:
- Waddling gait
- Breathing difficulties
- Blurred speech
- Impaired vision
- Drooping eyelids
- General weakness of the limbs and the neck
Myasthenia Gravis Causes
With the condition being an autoimmune disease, it’s caused by the immune system abnormally hearty tissues. The situation occurs, when communication between the nerves and the muscles is inhibited. Nerve signals are transmitted through a chemical substance called acetylcholine that connects receptors that induce the movement of the muscles.
In the case for myasthenia gravis, the immune system secretes proteins substances inform of antibodies that inhibit and interfere with acetylcholine receptors. Destruction of these receptors impairs communication between the muscles and the nerves that prevent muscle construction. The immune system shields the body from harmful organisms. In this condition, the immune system is perceived to attack itself.
Myasthenia Gravis Diagnosis
The disease is characterized by body weakness that makes it difficult for the medical experts to identify. General body weakness is a common symptom of many other illnesses that make the diagnosis of the disease delayed. However, patients who experience the weakness in particular muscles are diagnosed with the condition.
Diagnosis begins with reviewing the patient’s health past with neurological and physical examinations administered to ascertain its presence. The doctor may proceed by checking for possible eyelid impairments and muscle feebleness. Other tests that can be used to confirm the presence of the ailment include:
Blood test to ascertain the presence of acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Increased levels of these antibodies are common with Myasthenia Gravis patients.
- Edrophonium test
- Single fiber electromyography tests the electrical potential for the cells of the involved muscles.
- Pulmonary function test determines the possibility of respiration failure.
- Imaging tests such as CT scan
Myasthenia Gravis Treatment
At the moment, there is no curative medication for the condition. However, treatments have been developed to manage the symptoms and improve muscle activity. With the condition affecting the nerves, prescribed medicines may be given to enhancing nerve-muscle coordination and muscle sturdiness. Some of the drugs used to control the disease include:
- Anticholinesterase agents increase neuromuscular transmission. They include; neostigmine and pyridostigmine.
- Immunosuppressive medicines enhance muscle strength by preventing secretion of abnormal antibodies. They include; prednisone, mycophenolate move til, tacrolimus, azathioprine, and cyclosporine.
- In some instances, surgical procedures are recommended to remove thymus gland for patients with Thymoma. Plasmapheresis is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the abnormal antibodies from the blood cells.