What is myasthenia gravis?

Updated: Sep 20, 2018
  • Author: William D Goldenberg, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew K Chang, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Answer

The most important aspect of emergent management of myasthenia gravis is the detection and treatment of the myasthenic crisis. Myasthenia gravis is a relatively rare autoimmune disorder of peripheral nerves in which antibodies form against acetylcholine (ACh) nicotinic postsynaptic receptors at the myoneural junction. A reduction in the number of ACh receptors results in a characteristic pattern of progressively reduced muscle strength with repeated use of the muscle and recovery of muscle strength following a period of rest. The bulbar muscles are affected most commonly and most severely, but most patients also develop some degree of fluctuating generalized weakness. [1]


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