Semin Neurol 2015; 35(04): 327-339
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1558975
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Myasthenia Gravis

Kelly G. Gwathmey
1   Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
,
Ted M. Burns
1   Department of Neurology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
06 October 2015 (online)

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease caused by antibodies directed against the postsynaptic muscle membrane. The clinical hallmark of the disease is fluctuating and fatigable weakness that affects the ocular muscles (resulting in diplopia and ptosis), the bulbar muscles (causing dysphagia, dysarthria, and dyspnea), and extremity muscles. The diagnosis is most often made with serological testing that identifies either acetylcholine receptor antibodies or muscle-specific tyrosine kinase antibodies. Electrodiagnostic testing has a role in supporting the diagnosis. There are many available treatments that result in improvement of function and quality of life. Treatment should be individualized after consideration of many factors, including disease distribution and severity, patient comorbidities, age, serological status, and what is known about the efficacy and safety of the various treatments.