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Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms and Complications

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Myasthenia Gravis Symptoms and Complications

Signs and Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis

The onset of myasthenia gravis (MG) may be sudden and oftentimes difficult to diagnose as the symptoms aren’t immediately recognized as myasthenia gravis.

 

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Myasthenia gravis may affect the voluntary muscles in our bodies. These muscles are responsible for controlling eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, and swallowing. In most cases, initial noticeable symptoms include weakness of the eye muscles, difficulty in swallowing, and slurred speech. However, the degree of muscle weakness involved in myasthenia gravis varies greatly among patients. 

Depending on the type and severity, the symptoms may include a drooping of one or both eyelids (ptosis); blurred or double vision (diplopia) due to weakness of the muscles that control eye movements; unstable or waddling gait; weakness in arms, hands, fingers, legs, and neck; a change in facial expression; difficulty in swallowing and shortness of breath; and impaired speech (dysarthria).

 

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Complications of Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenic Crisis

Myasthenic crisis is a potentially life-threatening complication of MG. About one in five people with MG may develop myasthenic crisis at least once in their lifetime. It occurs when your respiratory muscles become too weak to support breathing. If left untreated, a myasthenic crisis can result in respiratory failure and death.

 

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REFERENCES:

  1. https://www.mda.org/disease/myasthenia-gravis 
  2. Basta, Ivana et al. “Survival and mortality of adult-onset myasthenia gravis in the population of Belgrade, Serbia.” Muscle & nerve vol. 58,5 (2018): 708-712. doi:10.1002/mus.26132.
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  4. Alshekhlee, A et al. “Incidence and mortality rates of myasthenia gravis and myasthenic crisis in US hospitals.” Neurology vol. 72,18 (2009): 1548-54. doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181a41211.
  5. Wendell, Linda C, and Joshua M Levine. “Myasthenic crisis.” The Neurohospitalist vol. 1,1 (2011): 16-22. doi:10.1177/1941875210382918.
  6. Twork, S., Wiesmeth, S., Klewer, J. et al. Quality of life and life circumstances in German myasthenia gravis patients. Health Qual Life Outcomes 8, 129 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7525-8-129.
  7. Szczudlik, Piotr et al. “Determinants of Quality of Life in Myasthenia Gravis Patients.” Frontiers in neurology vol. 11 553626. 23 Sep. 2020, doi:10.3389/fneur.2020.553626.

 

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