Myasthenia Gravis

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Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal muscles of the body. It occurs when communication between nerve cells and muscles becomes impaired. This impairment prevents crucial muscle contractions from occurring, resulting in muscle weakness. Normally when impulses travel down the nerve, the nerve endings release a neurotransmitter substance called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine travels from the neuromuscular junction and binds to acetylcholine receptors which are activated and generate a muscle contraction. In myasthenia gravis, antibodies block, alter, or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, which prevents the muscle contraction…show more content…
The inheritance pattern is unknown. Currently there is no known method of preventing myasthenia gravis. However people who develop the disorder can take steps to prevent complication. Patients are encouraged to avoid extreme heat because it may worsen symptoms. Cold temperatures do not appear to have this effect. Patients are encouraged to get plenty of rest because fatigue may worsen symptoms. Patients with myasthenia gravis have an increased risk of falling due to muscle weakness. This risk can be reduced by installing grab bars in the shower and near the toilet. A non-slip bath mat can be used in the shower or tub. Proper lighting is also recommended inside the home. Handrails and lights should be installed on the staircases of the home. Consider installing a ramp into the home if there are steps to the front door. Wear rubber-soled slippers that do not slip when walking around the…show more content…
Injection of the chemical edrophonium chloride (Tensilon) may result in a sudden, although temporary, improvement in your muscle strength. This is an indication that you may have myasthenia gravis. Edrophonium chloride blocks an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, the chemical that transmits signals from your nerve endings to your muscle receptor sites. A blood test may reveal the presence of abnormal antibodies that disrupt the receptor sites where nerve impulses signal your muscles to move. Your doctor may check your neurologic health by testing your reflexes, muscles strength, muscle tone, sense of touch and sight, coordination and
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