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Myasthenia gravis: symptoms, treatment, causes and forms of the disease

The work of all muscles in the body of a healthy person is innervated by nerve endings, that is, the nervous system sends a certain impulse that acts directly on the muscle fiber, as a result of which it contracts or relaxes.

When a failure occurs in the transmission of these impulses, various diseases occur, one of which is myasthenia gravis.


Myasthenia gravis - what is it?

Myasthenia gravis is a disease of an autoimmune origin, manifested by a violation of the transmission of muscular-nerve impulses, as a result of which the patient breaks the pathological muscle weakness, against which he can not perform the usual actions and even minimal physical exertion. This pathology is more common in women than in men, and it affects people of young age - from 20 to 35 years.

Myasthenia gravis

myasthenia gravis, photo

The danger of the disease is the frequent development of so-called myasthenic crises, which can result in death for the patient.

Myasthenia gravis has two forms - congenital and acquired.

The congenital form of the disease arises from the mutation of protein genes in the process of embryogenesis, which are responsible for the transmission of muscle-nerve impulses. The disease manifests itself immediately after the birth of the baby, in the first minutes of his life, and is characterized by a violation of the respiratory function. The prognosis for congenital myasthenia gravis is extremely unfavorable, most often the child dies.

The acquired form of the disease occurs more often, it develops as a result of the influence on the human body of unfavorable factors: the transferred infections, stress, hormonal disorders and malfunction of the immune system.

This form of myasthenia gravis is characterized by a violation of the human immune system, as a result, the thymus gland begins to produce large amounts of antibodies that kill their own cells.

The acquired form of myasthenia gravis is also often called the tumor of the thymus (thymus gland), as against the background of the pathological process of iron significantly increases in size.

Causes of myasthenia gravis

The causes of myasthenia of the acquired form have not been studied to the end, however, scientists have established that predisposing factors of this pathology are:

  • Hormonal disorders;
  • Constant stress;
  • Taking certain medications that affect the musculoskeletal synapse;
  • Postponed colds or infectious diseases;
  • Tumors of the lungs, breast and other organs that can provoke increased thymic activity and glandular hyperplasia.

Symptoms of myasthenia gravis, characteristic signs

Symptoms of myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis in most cases develops suddenly in the form of a crisis, which is very frightening for patients. The development of the clinical picture of the disease can be triggered by increased physical stress, experienced stress, prolonged exposure to hot weather in the open sunlight.

Most often, patients develop ocular myasthenia gravis, which is clinically manifested as follows:

  1. Omission of the upper eyelid (ptosis);
  2. Doubling in the eyes.

Along with this, the facial, facial, chewing and muscles of the extremities are affected, which is characterized by the development of a number of symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing, feeling lump in the throat;
  • Change in voice (hoarseness, hoarseness) or complete loss of voice;
  • Intensified salivation, which the patient can not control;
  • Shakiness of gait;
  • Weakness in the limbs, as a result of which the patient can not serve himself and move normally;
  • Distortion of mimicry;
  • Inability to hold the head in the right position, since the muscles of the neck are affected;
  • Paralysis of the extremities.

In most cases, the disease gradually leads to the development of disability, as myasthenia gravis is constantly progressing and eventually becomes a complete atrophy of the affected muscles.

Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis

In order to correctly diagnose a patient, a comprehensive study is prescribed, since the clinical picture of myasthenia gravis may be similar to other diseases. The main diagnostic methods are:

  • Expanded biochemical blood tests for the detection of antibodies;
  • Genetic screening, which is carried out to identify the congenital form of myasthenia gravis;
  • Electromyography is a study during which it is possible to evaluate the potential of muscle fibers when they are excited;
  • MRI - with the help of this study, you can see even the most insignificant signs of hyperplasia of the thymus gland;
  • Electro-neurology is a study that allows estimating the rate of transmission of nerve impulses to muscle fibers;
  • Prozerinovaya test - the patient is injected subcutaneously with proserin, then wait for up to half an hour, and then the result is evaluated. Myasthenia sufferers feel a significant improvement in their condition, and after a few hours the clinical symptoms resume with the same strength;
  • The test for muscle fatigue - the patient is asked to quickly open and close the mouth several times, wave his arms and legs, squeeze and unclench the brushes, squat. The main syndrome of myasthenia gravis is the appearance of increasing muscle weakness when these movements are repeated.

Treatment of myasthenia gravis, drugs

Preparations for the treatment of myasthenia gravis Myasthenia gravis is a chronic disease - it means that you can not completely cure pathology, but the patient is able to achieve a stable remission, so that the quality of life will be higher. Treatment of myasthenia gravis is carried out for years, allocating the most effective drugs for myasthenia gravis:

  1. Proserin;
  2. Kalimin;
  3. Galantamine.

These drugs are similar in their therapeutic effect, only the duration of their effects on the body differs. All these medicines may be prescribed only by a specialist, after a preliminary comprehensive examination and confirmation of the diagnosis.

In addition to the main treatment of myasthenia with anticholinesterases, the patient is additionally prescribed drugs with a high content of potassium and a diet consisting of products rich in this trace element (dried apricots, potatoes, dates, raisins).

During the period of exacerbation of the disease and the development of myasthenic crises, the patient is prescribed glucocorticosteroid therapy, the dose of which is determined strictly individually, depending on the characteristics of the organism and the severity of the clinical picture.

If the tumor of the thymus progresses, and the clinical picture of the disease is aggravated, the patient is shown surgical intervention and irradiation of the thymus gland.

In the stage of persistent remission, the patient should follow several recommendations that will avoid exacerbation and progression of myasthenia gravis:

  • Do not allow stress and physical overwork;
  • Do not stay for a long time under the open rays of the sun;
  • Any medicines should be taken only as prescribed by the doctor;
  • Regularly undergo preventive examinations with a doctor.

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