Myasthenia gravis is disease that causes weakness in the muscles under your control. It happens because of a problem in communication between your nerves and muscles. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease. Your body's own immune system makes antibodies that block or change some of the nerve signals to your muscles. This makes your muscles weaker.
Common symptoms are trouble with eye and eyelid movement, facial expression and swallowing. But it can also affect other muscles. The weakness gets worse with activity, and better with rest..
There are medicines to help improve nerve-to-muscle messages and make 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 which 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.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Myasthenia Gravis (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
- Myasthenia Gravis (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Myasthenia Gravis (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Available in Spanish
- Myasthenia Gravis (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Myasthenia Gravis, Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome & Congenital Myasthenic Syndromes (Muscular Dystrophy Association) - PDF Available in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Thymectomy: Common Questions Patients Ask about Thymectomies (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America) - PDF
- Treatment for Myasthenia Gravis (MG) (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America)
- Congenital Myasthenia (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - Short Summary
- Employees with Myasthenia Gravis (Office of Disability Employment Policy)
- Home Injury Prevention (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America) - PDF
- Myasthenia Gravis Medication Information Card (Drugs to be Avoided or Used with Caution in Myasthenia Gravis) (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America) - PDF
- Ocular Myasthenia Gravis (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America) - PDF
- Genetics Home Reference: Myasthenia gravis (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Myasthenia Gravis (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Things to Consider If You Have MG and Are Thinking about Getting Pregnant (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America) - PDF