Myasthenia Gravis Treatment Offered by Mercy Neurologists

Neurosurgery at Mercy Baltimore

At The Neurology Center at Mercy in Baltimore, Maryland, neurologists provide diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, including myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that impacts voluntary muscles.

About the Condition

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic neuromuscular disorder that causes weakness and excessive fatigue of the voluntary muscles.

What causes Myasthenia Gravis?

Normally, the nerves instruct the muscles to move by communicating through an area known as a receptor.  The chemical that transports the communication is called acetylcholine. When acetylcholine connects to a nerve receptor, it signals the muscles to contract. In myasthenia gravis, there are less acetylcholine receptors and the body receives less signals, resulting in weakness. 

Myasthenia gravis is considered an autoimmune disorder or a disorder that mistakenly destroys some the body’s antibodies (cells that fight off bacteria and virus), resulting in destruction of good cells. In myasthenia gravis, the antibodies attack and destroy the acetylcholine receptors that are needed for muscle contraction. 

It is not known what causes the body to produce the antibodies that kill acetylcholine receptors, but it is believed to be related to the thymus gland that makes the antibodies.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Myasthenia gravis symptoms may include:

  • Drooping of one or both eyelids
  • Double vision
  • Altered speaking
  • Hard time swallowing
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Limited facial expressions
  • Weakness in the neck and limb muscles
  • Difficulty breathing

To diagnose myasthenia gravis, the doctor will conduct a comprehensive exam, require a number of diagnostic tests, and perform a neurological exam as well as other tests:

  • Blood test
  • EMG
  • Eprophonium test
  • Repetitive nerve stimulation
  • CT Scan or MRI
  • Pulmonary function tests
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

Although there is no cure for myasthenia gravis, there are helpful treatments available. Treatments include:

  • Medications
  • Therapy
  • Thymectomy