The effect of Myasthenia Gravis Essay
The effect of Myasthenia Gravis, 496 words essay example
"Myasthenia Gravis (grave muscular weakness) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups".(1) Myasthenia Gravis begins inside the body at the neuromuscular junction. Our body was created with an immune system, the immune system is designed to fight off foreign particles that enter our body, such as bacteria. Antibodies our used to fight these invaders, but in someone with an autoimmune disease these antibodies are attacking the wrong target. "In Myasthenia Gravis antibodies block, alter or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction which prevents muscle contraction from occurring".(4) The disease was studied and named in the year 1890 by a German medical professor Wihelm Arb.
The cause of Myasthenia Gravis is unknown. The disease is not found to be inherited. It is not contagious, but occasionally the disease may occur in more than one member of the same family.(1) Research show that Myasthenia Gravis can affect anyone age, race or gender plays no roll in diagnosis of the disease but, it is most commonly found in women under the age of 40.
Due to the symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis being commonly found in other diseases, it can go undiagnosed for quit some time on average 3 years. Myasthenia Gravis can affect any voluntary muscle in the body. The most visible signs a physician must look for are weakness in eye movements or muscle weakness in other parts of the body with out the change in the ability to feel things.(4) Other signs and symptoms of the disorder include difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, blurred or double vision, unstable or waddling gait, weakness in arms, hands, fingers, legs, and neck, and shortness of breath. Although there are physical signs of Myasthenia Gravis, test can be ran to detect the disease which can help better diagnose a patient.
Unfortunately there is no known cure for Myasthenia Gravis, however treatments allow many with the disorder to lead full lives.(1) There are multiple treatments available, the correct treatment is dependent on the individual and which one the physician recommends. Lets begin by looking at the treatments that are available. This research comes from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Anticholinesterase agents, which help improve neuromuscular transmission and increase muscle strength. Immunosuppressive drugs improve muscle strength by suppressing the production of abnormal antibodies. Thymectomy, the surgical removal of the thymus gland, reduces symptoms in some individuals without thymoma and may cure some people, possibly by rebalancing the immune system. Plasmapheresis, a procedure in which serum containing the abnormal antibodies is removed from the blood while cells are replaced and high dose intravenous immune globulin, which temporarily modifies the immune system by infusing antibodies for donated blood.(2) Researchers continue to search for a cure. Within the Federal government, the National Institute of Neurological disorders and Stroke one of the National Institutes of Health, has the main responsibility for continuous research involving the brain and nervous system disorders, including Myasthenia Gravis.(4)