Myasthenia Gravis is a disease characterized by episodes of muscle weakness, predominately the muscles innervated by cranial nerves e.g. eye muscles, and characterized by improvement with cholinesterase-inhibiting drugs.
It is an autoimmune disease; the body producing an antibody to attack part of the neural pathway, at a junction where chemical transmitters (acetylcholine receptors) are important for nerve conduction to continue. Damage to these receptor sites results in the muscle supplied by this nerve not receiving the correct message.
Symptoms include drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis), double vision and tiredness and weakness in muscles following exercise. Other muscles can be affected such as those involved with swallowing. Treatment is with cholinesterase inhibitors, steroids and immune suppressive drugs. Sometimes surgically removing the Thymus gland can improve the situation.
Additional Medical Conditions: