Myasthenia Gravis Essay, Research Paper
Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder. The term “myasthenia” is Latin for muscle weakness, and “gravis” for grave or serious. It is characterized by random weakness of voluntary muscle groups. Muscle groups most commonly affected include the eye muscles, facial, chewing and swallowing muscles, and shoulder and hip muscles. It is typical for a myasthenic patient to have a flattened smile, droopy eyes and an ineffective cough due to weak expiratory muscles, are all also associated with MG. Most myasthenic patients usually don’t complain of extensive feelings of fatigue. They experience localized fatigue in specific, repeatedly used muscles. Today, MG is one of the most thoroughly understood neurological disorders, which has lead to treatments, which enormously improves the length and quality of life of myasthenics.
Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease in which the lymphocytes in the blood produce antibodies that destroy muscle-cell sites for the reception of acetylcholine molecules. Normally, acetylcholine is used in signal transmission between nerves and muscles, its goal is to provide muscle contractions.
The diagnosis for MG is often very difficult. Since there are many disorders that cause weakness, a number of tests may be used to determine a diagnosis of MG. In addition to a complete medical and neurological evaluation, a blood test for the abnormal antibodies can be completed to see if they are present. Three studies are used for the diagnosis of MG, anit-AchR antibody titers, the Tensilon test, and electromyography, including both the Jolly test and single fiber EMG. Used together, these three studies are almost 100% sensitive for Myasthenia Gravis.
There is no known cure for MG, but there are effective treatments that allow many, bur not all people with MG, to lead full regular lives. Therefore, the next concern would be to decrease or eliminate the symptoms that go along with the disease. Common treatments include medications, thymectomy and plasmaphersis. Thymectomy is the surgical removal of the thymus glad. By removing the thymus gland it lessens the severity of the MG weakness after many months. Plasmapheresis or plasma exchange is a procedure of removing the abnormal antibodies from the plasma of the blood. This is brief due to the abnormal antibodies continually producing. Treatment is based on the individual and their severity of the MG weakness and the patient’s age and sex.
There may be minimal restrictions on lifestyle, sexuality, and on some activities in many cases. Chemicals such as pesticides and insecticides, hot tubs, and extremes in temperature should be avoided, which can interfere with the AcH. Remission is possible but there is no cure. The only hope for treatment for Myasthenia Gravis is depending upon the testing and research that is continually being done.