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Myasthenia Gravis

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Your arms are too weak to pick up the remote control, your eyelids too droopy to watch your favorite show, your jaw too weak to chew and enjoy your meal. Episodes like these are all too familiar to individuals suffering from Myasthenia Gravis, a rare & debilitating chronic autoimmune disease. This disease can affect people of all ages and like all autoimmune diseases, sufferers of Myasthenia Gravis have immune systems that attack the body, in this case, targeting an important neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. This prevents acetylcholine from binding with the acetylcholine nicotinic receptor thereby preventing the muscle from carrying out the signal and contracting. The nature of this disease sometimes makes it difficult to diagnose as the definitive causative agent is unknown, however, distinct clinical presentation, etiology and an understanding of the…show more content…
Because Myasthenia Gravis is such a rare disease, it makes it difficult for medical professionals to diagnose it, often leading to misdiagnoses. The first reported case of the what is now recognized as Myasthenia Gravis was documented in 1664 of Native American Chief Opechancanough whose “mystery illness” caused “the excessive fatigue he encountered to wreck his constitution…his sinews lost their tone and elasticity; and his eyelids were so heavy that he could not see unless they were lifted up by his attendants… he was unable to walk…” It is believed that the mystery illness afflicting the chief was most likely Myasthenia Gravis due to the hallmark symptoms of fatigue, bulbar & ocular weakness as well as overall muscular weakness in the arms and legs. Because the facial muscles are also affected, other symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis include muffled speech, difficulty swallowing & chewing, and diplopia (double vision). In approximately 85% of MG patients, the disease becomes generalized and within 3 years, the limbs, axial muscular groups like the neck muscles, as
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