Myasthenia Gravis : Neuromuscular Disorder : Symptoms

Definition
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder characterized by variable weakness of voluntary muscles, which often improves with rest and worsens with activity. The condition is caused by an abnormal immune response.

It is an autoimmune disorder, in which weakness is caused by circulating antibodies that block acetylcholine receptors at the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction, inhibiting the excitatory effects of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine on nicotinic receptors throughout neuromuscular junctions.

Symptoms
(1) Muscle weakness, including:

  • Swallowing difficulty, frequent gagging, or choking
  • Paralysis
  • Muscles that function best after rest
  • Drooping head
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Difficulty lifting objects
  • Need to use hands to rise from sitting positions
  • Difficulty talking
  • Difficulty chewing

(2) Vision problems:

  • Double vision
  • Difficulty maintaining steady gaze
  • Eyelid drooping

(3) Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

  • Hoarseness or changing voice
  • Fatigue
  • Facial paralysis
  • Drooling
  • Breathing difficulty

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