Myasthenia gravis is a disease that causes weakness in the muscles under your control. It happens because of a problem in communication between your motor nerves and muscles. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system makes antibodies that block or change some of the nerve signals to your muscles. This makes your muscles weak, especially with repetitive use.
Common symptoms are trouble with eye movement, double vision, droopy eyelids, facial weakness and trouble speaking and swallowing. It also can affect the muscles in the arms and legs, resulting in fatigue and weakness when walking, going up and down stairs, and getting up out of chairs. The weakness gets worse with activity and better with rest.
There are medicines to help improve the nerve-to-muscle signaling that makes muscles stronger. With treatment, the muscle weakness often gets much better. Other drugs keep your body from making so many abnormal antibodies. There are also treatments that filter abnormal antibodies from the blood or add healthy antibodies from donated blood. Sometimes surgery to take out the thymus gland helps.
For some people, myasthenia gravis can go into remission and they do not need medicines. The remission can be temporary or permanent.
If you have myasthenia gravis, it is important to follow your treatment plan. If you do, you can expect your life to be normal or close to it.
Source: NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Why choose Ohio State for treatment of myasthenia gravis?
Diagnostic Expertise: Our Myasthenia Gravis Clinic at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has nine neurologists board-certified and fellowship-trained in neuromuscular diseases, including four who specialize in myasthenia gravis.
As one of the largest neuromuscular centers in the country, we see all major categories of neuromuscular disease. Our broad range of experience helps ensure that if you have an uncommon or complicated case of myasthenia gravis, we can provide the answers and the care you need.
Access to National Expertise: When you come to Ohio State, you have a whole consortium of medical centers working on your disease. Our participation on the National Myasthenia Gravis Medical/Scientific Advisory Board connects us with other medical professionals throughout the world who are dedicated to myasthenia gravis clinical care and research. Our patients benefit from this direct knowledge of the latest findings in the diagnosis and treatment of myasthenia gravis and our access to the latest clinical trials.
Research: Our Myasthenia Gravis Clinic offers you the opportunity to enroll in cutting-edge basic science research and clinical trials that are available at only a handful of centers across the country. In addition, our collaboration with national research and clinical trial programs provides us with access to more knowledge and stronger expertise in treating unusual and difficult symptoms.
Learn more about brain and spine neurological conditions at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.