“Myasthenia Gravis” is a combination of both Greek and Latin words, which was initially originated from Greek word “mus” means muscles and Latin word “asthenia” means “weak”. In the mid-19th century, the word Myasthenia originated from modern Latin words “mus + asthenia = myasthenia” which simply means “weak muscle”. Gravis is a Latin word means “weighty” (something heavy). Summing up all the about, it is “heavy weak muscle”, in other words, “severe muscle weakness”
The most usual cause of Myasthenia Gravis is an acquired immunological abnormality, some cases may result from genetic abnormalities at the neuromuscular junction.
The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness that worsens after periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often (but not always) involved in the disorder. The muscles that control breathing and neck and limb movements may also be affected.
At what age does MG condition generally occur?
Myasthenia Gravis remains underdiagnosed. Women are more affected than men. The most common age of onset is the second and third decades in women and seventh and eighth decades in men. As the population ages, the average age of onset has increased correspondingly, and now males are more affected than females and the age of onset is usually after the age of 50.
How does MG occur in any person?
Myasthenia Gravis may be inherited as a rare genetic disease, acquired by babies born to mothers with Myasthenia, or the disorder may develop spontaneously later in childhood. It’s a disorder occurring primarily at the Myo-Neural junction (the communicating junction between muscle and nerve). Nerves communicate with the muscles by releasing chemicals, called neurotransmitters like Acetyl Choline, which fits precisely into the receptor sites of the muscle cells.
In Myasthenia the body’s immune system may produce antibodies that block or destroy the muscle receptor sites for Acetyl Choline. With fewer receptor sites available, the muscles receive only fewer nerve signals resulting in weakness.
A better way to understand all this technical blabber is by imagining everything like DTH broadcasting procedure. Here we have a broadcasting station, which broadcasts the tv signals, a satellite that relays the signals to the dish antenna over our home and from the dish antenna we get the picture on our tv. In this case, the broadcasting station is our brain sending commands or impulses through the nerves. The satellite is the neurotransmitter Acetyl Choline that relays the signals transmitted by the nerves, and the Dish antenna is the muscles that receive those signals and convert it into the picture which in our context is the desired muscle action. Those of you who have a DTH connection would have often noticed that during dense rain clouds the picture on the tv starts getting irregular and after some time it completely gets cut off and the tv says “NO SIGNAL”. This is exactly what happens in Myasthenia Gravis, here the broadcasting station (brain) may send the signals, the satellite (neurotransmitter) may relay the signals, but due to the dense rain clouds (antibodies at the Muscle receptor sites), the dish antenna (muscles) don’t get the signals clearly since they only receive the signals that somehow manage to escape through the rain clouds, thereby leading to a distorted picture (weakness in doing activities) and after some time the signals may no longer reach the muscles and they get a “NO SIGNAL”.
What are the factors that worsen MG condition?
- Physical fatigue
- Illness caused by infections
- Mental stress and emotional anxiety
- Extreme heat and weather conditions
- Medications interfering with neuromuscular transmission
Hi all, I am Bhavya, being myself MG patient since birth my understanding of the disease has grown over the years. I always found it hard to explain to others about my condition and reach out for support. So I have created this website where other MG patients can gather on a single platform, share their stories, and support each other. Through the website I want all the MG patients and their family to feel connected and be motivated to achieve more together. I believe there is nothing that is impossible for us despite our invisible disease.