Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by weakness of the skeletal muscles. Common symptoms include weakness of the muscles that control the eye and eyelid, facial expressions, chewing, talking, and swallowing. Weakness tends to increase during periods of activity and improve after periods of rest. The condition results from a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles because the immune system blocks or destroys acetylcholine receptors, a critical link between the nerve and muscle.
The exact reason this occurs is not known. Some cases have been linked to tumors in the thymus gland. Researchers believe that variations in certain genes may increase a person’s risk to develop MG, but other factors likely also play a role. There is no cure for MG at this time, but treatment can significantly improve muscle weakness. Some cases may go into remission temporarily, and muscle weakness may disappear so that medications can be discontinued. People can develop MG at any age. For unknown reasons, it is most commonly diagnosed in women younger than age 40 and men older than age 60.
20% of CSI Pharmacy patients have a form of Myasthenia Gravis.