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Myasthenia Gravis: Symptoms, Causes and Risks

By EmpowHER
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Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disorder that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles. Patients with this neuromuscular disorder can have several types of symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, swallowing and climbing stairs, as well as double vision and facial paralysis.

These symptoms result from the immune system producing antibodies that block or damage the acetylcholine receptors in the neuromuscular junction. MedlinePlus noted that no cure for myasthenia gravis exists, though the treatments for the disorder can extend periods in which the patient does not have symptoms.

One treatment option for myasthenia gravis is medication. Medications such as anticholinesterase agents help with neuromuscular transmission. Examples of anticholinesterase agents include pyridostigmine and neostigmine.

By improving the communication between the muscles and the nerves, these medications can help increase the patient’s muscle strength. Side effects of these medications include frequent urination and gastrointestinal upset.


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