Myasthenia gravis: what is it? Causes, Symptoms and Methods of Treatment
Myasthenia is a disease thataccompanied by increased muscle weakness. A similar disease was first described in 1672. According to statistics, this ailment does not occur very often. Nevertheless, many people are interested in questions about why myasthenia gravis occurs, what it is and what signs it accompanies. After all, from the early diagnosis depends the scheme of treatment and the quality of life of a sick person.
Myasthenia gravis - what is it? Causes of the disease
If everything is normal, acetylcholine when excitedenters the synaptic cleft, where it acts on the specific receptors of the muscle membrane - thus, stimulation and contraction of the muscle fiber occurs. But with myasthenia, this mechanism of transmission of the nerve impulse is disturbed.
Immediately it is worth noting that myasthenia gravis -genetic disease. And today it is common to distinguish two main forms of its development. In some cases, a failure in the process of transmission of a nerve impulse is associated with a disruption of the normal functioning of the hypothalamus. Another common cause of the disease is an autoimmune lesion of the thymus gland, which leads to a decrease in the amount of synthesized acetylcholine.
There is a so-called neonatal myasthenia gravis. What it is? This form of the disease is observed in newborn children, if their mothers suffer from a violation of neuromuscular conduction.
Symptoms of the disease can be manifested as inthe first days after birth, and in a more adult age. There are some risk factors, under the influence of which myasthenia gravis develops. The causes of an attack of muscle weakness can be covered in severe stress, nervous overexertion, transferred infectious diseases and disruption of the immune system.
The main symptoms of myasthenia gravis
As already mentioned, the main featuredisease is muscle weakness. Since morning patients, as a rule, feel perfectly normal. But after a few hours skeletal muscles become tired and cease to function, until complete paralysis. After rest, the ability to reduce is restored.
Depending on the group of affected nerves, it is common to distinguish three main forms of the disease:
- Quite often the disease affects the muscles,which are innervated by the cranial nerves. And the main feature in this case is ptosis. If, after rest, a person can fully open his eyes, then after several hours, the upper eyelids gradually disappear.
- There is also a bulbar myasthenia gravis.What it is? This form of the disease is accompanied by a violation of the transmission of the nerve impulse to the muscles, which correspond to swallowing, chewing and some other processes. In sick people there are problems with eating, and there is also a gradual change in the voice, until it completely disappears.
- Most commonly, a generalized form of the disease is diagnosed, in which the eye muscles are first affected, after which the process passes to the region of the neck, upper extremities, etc.
Methods of treatment of myasthenia gravis
It is worth noting that myasthenia gravis is extremelyIt is dangerous and requires qualified medical care. The fact is that this disease is characterized by so-called crises, which are accompanied by temporary paralysis of the respiratory muscles, and this is a direct threat to life.
The only effective method of treatment istaking drugs containing acetylcholinesterase - this is Proserpine and Kalimin. This therapy lasts for years, and the doses of the medication are constantly changing depending on the condition and rate of the disease. If the myasthenia gravis has developed against a tumor of the thymus gland, an operation is performed to remove this organ.