Myasthenia gravis is a condition that causes weakness and fast exhaustion in any of the muscles that you can control. It is caused by a breakdown in the usual communication between neurons and muscles. Myasthenia gravis has no cure, although treatment can help improve signs and symptoms such muscle weakness in the arms and legs, double vision, drooping eyelids, and difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, and breathing. Though it can affect anyone at any age, it is more common in women below 40 and men over 60 years of age.
Myasthenia gravis causes muscle weakness that develops as the affected muscle is engaged. Muscle weakness can come and go because symptoms normally improve with rest. The symptoms, on the other hand, tend to worsen over time, usually within a few years of the commencement of the condition. Although myasthenia gravis can affect any voluntary muscle group, certain muscle groups are more typically affected than others.
When should you see a doctor?
If you are having trouble in following then talk to your doctor:
- Making use of your arms or hands
- Raising your brows
At the nerve-muscle junction, your nerves communicate with your muscles by releasing chemicals that exactly fit into receptor sites on muscle cells. Your immune system creates antibodies that block or kill many of the receptor sites for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in myasthenia gravis. Your muscles receive fewer nerve signals because there are fewer receptor sites accessible, resulting in weakness. Antibodies can potentially interfere with the activity of a protein known as MuSK (muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase). This protein is necessary for the formation of the nerve-muscle junction. Myasthenia gravis is caused by antibodies against this protein.
Antibodies against a protein known as lipoprotein-related protein may play a role in the development of this disease. In research studies, further antibodies have been discovered, and the number of antibodies implicated is expected to grow with time. Antibodies that inhibit acetylcholine, MuSK, aren’t the cause of myasthenia gravis in some persons. Seronegative myasthenia gravis, also known as antibody-negative myasthenia gravis, is a form of myasthenia gravis. Researchers believe that these kinds of myasthenia gravis still have an immunological origin, but that the antibodies responsible have yet to be identified.
- Thymus gland
The thymus gland is a portion of your immune system that is located beneath your breastbone in the upper chest. Thymus gland, according to researchers, is responsible for triggering or maintaining the creation of antibodies that inhibit acetylcholine. The thymus gland, which is large in childhood, is modest in healthy adults. The thymus gland is excessively big in some adults with myasthenia gravis. Tumors of the thymus gland are found in some persons with myasthenia gravis (thymomas). Thymomas aren’t usually cancerous (malignant), although they can develop into cancer.
- Other reasons
Mothers with myasthenia gravis rarely have children with myasthenia gravis (neonatal myasthenia gravis). Children usually recover within two months of birth if they are treated promptly. Congenital myasthenic syndrome is a rare, inherited form of myasthenia gravis that affects some children.
- Myasthenia gravis can be aggravated by a variety of factors.
- Illness or illness causing fatigue
- Beta blockers, quinidine gluconate, quinidine sulphate, quinine, phenytoin, certain anaesthetics, and various antibiotics are examples of drugs.
- Periods of menstruation
The following conditions are more common in people with myasthenia gravis:
- Thyroid that is underactive or hyperactive.
Hormones that govern your metabolism are secreted by the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. You can have trouble dealing with colds, weight gain, and other issues if your thyroid is underactive. Heat sensitivity, weight loss, and other disorders can all be exacerbated by an overactive thyroid.
- Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are more common in people with myasthenia gravis.
Your doctor will examine you and assess your symptoms as well as your medical history. Several tests may be used by your doctor, including:
- Examination of the nervous system
Your doctor may do the following tests to assess your neurological health:
- Muscle endurance
- Tone of muscle
- Touch and sight are two of the five senses.
The following tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis of myasthenia gravis:
- Test with an ice pack
If you have a droopy eyelid, your doctor may apply an ice bag to your eyelid. Your doctor removes the bag after two minutes and examines your droopy eyelid for evidence of recovery.
To see if your thymus has a tumour or other abnormality, your doctor may conduct a CT scan or an MRI.
- Tests of pulmonary function
These tests determine if your disease is hurting your ability to breathe.
Where can I find a Thoracic Expert specialist in Singapore?
Myasthenia gravis demands effective treatment to prevent cancer from spreading throughout the body. This is something that a cardiothoracic surgeon Singapore may help you with. A doctor should be consulted, and questions about the entire cancer removal procedure should be asked. Lung specialists Singapore, in any case, would have the appropriate equipment and skills to assess your condition.