|The Thymus Gland|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Sex and age:
- Women between the ages of 10—30
- Men between the ages of 50—60
- People with certain genetic markers, called HLA-B8, DR3
- Muscle weakness that increases with muscle use/exercise, and improves after resting those muscles
Weakness of muscles that control:
- The eyelids
- Eye movement
- Facial expression
- Arm and leg movement
- Drooping eyelids
- Double and/or blurred vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty walking
- Weakness of the hand muscles
- Myasthenic crisis—a severe flare of symptoms, breathing may be significantly impaired
- Blood tests—to identify the presence of abnormal antibodies and to look for thyroid disease (more common in patients with MG)
- Electromyography (EMG) tests—to reveal abnormalities in muscle functioning
- Repetitive nerve stimulation—may show progressively increasing muscle weakness over the course of the test
- Tensilon test—a dose of a medication called edrophonium chloride is given, which will briefly improve muscle weakness
- Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the chest—to look for a tumor of the thymus gland (thymoma)
- Pulmonary function testing —to assess how MG may be affecting your ability to breathe
- Mycophenolate mofetil
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Avoid medicines that may worsen MG, such as:
- Aminoglycoside antibiotics
- Quinolone antibiotics
- Class I medications used for abnormal heart rhythms
- Treat any infections promptly.
- If you have trouble swallowing, please notify your doctor immediately. You may wish to consult a dietitian to help you construct a healthy diet that is easier to swallow.
- If you have trouble speaking, you may wish to consult a speech therapist.
Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America http://www.myasthenia.org/
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
Muscular Dystrophy Canada http://www.muscle.ca/
Myasthenia Gravis Association of BC http://www.myastheniagravis.ca/
Ferri FF, ed. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2004.
Goetz CG, ed. Textbook of clinical Neurology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2006.
Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2004.
Gronseth GS, Barohn RJ. Practice parameter: thymectomy for autoimmune myasthenia gravis (an evidence-based review): report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2000;55:7-15.
Myasthenia gravis. DynaMed. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Accessed February 1, 2009.
Sanders DB, Howard JF. Disorders of Neuromuscular Transmission. Neurology in Clinical Practice website. Available at: http://www.expertconsultbook.com/expertconsult/b/book . Accessed February 1, 2009.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/91/2012 -