ABC Medical Center > Padecimientos > Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis

21:55 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Myasthenia gravis?

It is when there are communication interruptions between the nervous and muscular systems, a condition that causes fatigue and lack of muscle strength, drooping eyelids, visual impairment, and respiratory and swallowing problems.

Although anyone is susceptible to it, it usually appears in women under 42 years old and in men over 62 years old.

In this autoimmune condition, the immune system generates antibodies that damage the muscle receptors responsible for receiving acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter, so as there are fewer healthy receptors, the signals are reduced, causing progressive muscle weakness.

Symptoms

Being a degenerative disease, the symptoms intensify over time, so treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and avoiding serious complications.

Any muscle with voluntary control can be affected, but it most often appears in the:

Eyes:

  • Droopy eyelids.
  • Double vision.

Face and throat:

  • Vocal articulation problems.
  • Swallowing difficulties.
  • Chewing problems.
  • Facial expression alteration.

Neck, arms, and legs:

  • Weakness.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Difficulty holding the head.

Possible complications of myasthenia gravis are:

  • Critical myasthenic episode: This is a medical emergency, as the respiratory muscles lose all their strength, leading to life-threatening respiratory arrest.
  • Thymus tumors: Although not usually cancerous, these tumors affect some patients with myasthenia gravis.
  • Conditions:
    • Hypothyroidism.
    • Hyperthyroidism.
    • Lupus.
    • Arthritis.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical and neurological examination, requesting tests such as blood tests, electromyography, computed tomography, MRI, and pulmonary function tests.

The treatment to follow will depend on the magnitude of the damage, the degree of progress of the disease, and your general health conditions.

However, it usually includes drugs such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and cholinesterase inhibitors; as well as intravenous therapy such as plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin.

When a thymus tumor is confirmed, a thymectomy will be necessary, which is the surgical removal of the gland, either with open or laparoscopic surgery, and can even be robot-assisted.

At the Neurological Center, a select group of highly trained and certified doctors in the various neurological specialties are ready to assist you with the quality and warmth that characterizes us.

Specialists

Nervous system specialties 

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Spine surgery
  • Pediatric neurosurgery
  • Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-rehabilitation
  • Neuro-pathology
  • Interventional neuro-radiology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Neuro-otology
  • Epilepsy
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Neuroimaging

Fuentes:

  • clevelandclinic.org
  • topdoctors.es
  • mayocilinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • niddk.nih.gov
  • medigraphic.com
  • Fuentealba CM, Troncoso GM, Vallejos EJ, et al. Parto prematuro en paciente con incompetencia cervical y antecedentes de miastenia gravis. Ginecol Obstet Mex. 2013;81(09):545-549.
  • García ZT, Villalobos SJA, Rodríguez HH. Miastenia gravis: caso clínico y revisión de la bibliografía. Med Int Mex. 2011;27(3):299-309.
  • Hines CKD, Gutiérrez NM, Tinoco CV. Miastenia gravis: fisiopatología y manejo perioperatorio. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2021;6(04):1-10.
  • Navarro-Blackaller G, Martin-Nares E, Blanco-Ornelas LH, et al. Lupus eritematoso sistémico en paciente con miastenia gravis posterior a timectomía: Reporte de caso y revisión de la literatura. Rev Med MD. 2016;7.8(3):186-190.

						
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