Myasthenia gravis is a common disorder that is characterized by weakness and fatigue of the skeletal muscles. The condition causes a breakdown of communication between one’s nerves and muscles. The disease cannot be directly inherited, nor is it contagious. However, the diagnosis of myasthenia gravis is regularly delayed, since muscle weakness is a common symptom of many other diseases.
Myasthenia gravis can affect individuals at any age but is more common in women under the age of 40 and men over the age of 60.
Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. Symptoms of the disease include weakness in the skeletal muscles, including those of the arms and legs. The muscle weakness may become worse after periods of activity, but most times, the pain and discomfort can be improved with adequate rest.
Muscles affected include those of the face, such as the muscles involved in expressions, eye movement, chewing, swallowing and talking. Additionally, breathing, neck and limb movement may also be affected.There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but there may be treatments which can help relieve symptoms related to the disease.
Myasthenia gravis can better be described as a malfunction in communication between nerve impulses and muscles. Myasthenia gravis causes the immune system to produce antibodies that may destroy and block muscle receptor sites, consequently interrupting communication. As a result of fewer receptor sites, fewer nerve signals are received by the muscles. This can result in muscle weakness.Any of the muscles which can be controlled voluntarily can be affected by myasthenia gravis, however, it’s been found that certain muscle groups are more commonly affected than others.
Studies have found that symptoms associated with the disease will usually disappear and reappear, but are often improved with rest. The symptoms associated with myasthenia gravis tend to progress over time, and usually become most severe within a few years of onset. The prognosis for myasthenia gravis is highly inconsistent; some patients experience complete remission, others can enjoy relatively normal lives with regular treatment, and yet others may receive poor prognosis as the disease advances.
Muscles commonly affected by myasthenia gravis include:
A myasthenic crisis may occur when the muscles that control breathing become too weak, causing a life-threatening situation. Approximately 20 percent of individuals suffering with myasthenia gravis may experience at least one myasthenic crisis in their lifetime. During a myasthenic crisis, immediate medical attention is required. Medical alerts assure medical assistance if one is experiencing symptoms of muscle fatigue and muscle weakness.
Complications of myasthenia gravis are usually treatable, but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Symptoms may include:
Unfortunately, there are no known cures for myasthenia gravis; however, myasthenia gravis can normally be controlled. There are several therapies available that can help reduce and alleviate symptoms associated with the disease.
New drugs are frequently being tested for effectiveness in treating this disease.At the present time, myasthenia gravis cannot be prevented. Fortunately, avoiding triggers may prevent exacerbation of the disease.
Myasthenia gravis is the most commonly-occurring neuromuscular disorder, characterized by weakness and fatigue of the skeletal muscles. In the unfortunate event of a medical emergency related to this condition, medical alerts can provide the urgent response services needed. If a senior suffering from myasthenia gravis falls, feels weak, or needs help of any kind, medical alerts can notify the appropriate professionals and loved ones with ease.Its 24-hour monitoring capabilities will provide the peace of mind needed to feel safe at home.