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Does Myasthenia Gravis Come On Suddenly & What Are The Symptoms?

Myasthenia Gravis refers to a chronic and autoimmune neuromuscular disease and it causes weakness in skeletal muscles i.e. muscles responsible for moving parts and breathing in humans, like for instance legs and arms. Myasthenia Gravis is a Latin and Greek word respectively and the combined words mean serious or grave muscle.

Muscle weakness is the prime issue associated with Myasthenia gravis and it becomes worse after you involve in any intense activity, while improves after you have enough rest. Specific muscles, like the muscles responsible to control eyelid and eye movements, chewing and facial expression, talking and swallowing of food remain involved in the myasthenia gravis disorder. Even the muscles responsible to control breathing and movement of your links as well as neck also suffer a lot from myasthenia gravis.

Does Myasthenia Gravis Come On Suddenly?

Does Myasthenia Gravis Come On Suddenly?

Now, the question that strikes in our mind is that whether myasthenia gravis problem takes place suddenly. The signs of myasthenia gravis can come on suddenly. Answer to this question depends on exact cause and group of people often suffer from the problem. Accordingly-

Faulty Transmission Of Nerve Impulses Towards Muscles

Myasthenia Gravis takes place due to faulty transmission of nerve impulses towards muscles. It takes place whenever there is interruption in regular communication between the muscle and nerves at one’s neuromuscular junction i.e. the junction, where different nerve cells connect with the corresponding controlling muscles.
Neurotransmitters refer to chemicals, which brain cells or neurons use for communicating information. In normal cases, when electrical impulses or signals travel downward a motor nerve, endings of the respective nerve releases a neurotransmitter referred as acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter travels between nerve endings and binds to acetylcholine receptors present on the muscle to activate any muscle and results in muscle contraction. However, the situation is different in patients suffering from myasthenia gravis.

Nerves of an individual communicate with muscles by releasing neurotransmitters i.e. chemicals, which fit in a precise way into different receptor sites present on muscle cells at the junction of one’s nerve and muscles. However, in case of myasthenia gravis, immune system of a person produces antibodies to destroy and block most of the muscles’ receptor sites because of acetylcholine neurotransmitter. Thus, with the availability of limited receptor sites, muscles of the patient receive only few nerve signals leading to weakness.

Problem Due To Antibodies

Antibodies may even cause blockage in the function performed by a protein called muscle-specific receptor tyrosine kinase. The protein is responsible to create nerve and muscle junctions. Whenever antibodies cause blockage in this protein function, an individual suffers from Myasthenia Gravis.

Myasthenia Gravis Disorder Due To Thymus Glands

Thymus glands are responsible to control the immune system functions and sometimes responsible to cause Myasthenia Gravis. The gland is in the back area of the chest’s breastbone and is the largest in small kids. Thymus gland grows in a gradual way until puberty and later on, becomes small, as body fat replaces it. During the entire childhood, thymus has a prime role to develop immune system, as it is responsible to produce T ells or T lymphocytes, i.e. a specific type of white blood corpuscles responsible to protect your body from infections and viruses.(1)

What Are The Symptoms Of Myasthenia Gravis?

Any patient suffering from Myasthenia Gravis experiences the following major symptoms-

Eye Muscles. Even though Myasthenia Gravis affects almost every controlling muscle in the body, it mainly affects eye muscles as follows-

  • Ptosis i.e. dropping of eyelids
  • Diplopia i.e. double vision, which may be vertical and horizontal, while resolve or improves when you close one eye
  • Face And Throat Muscles. Most of Myasthenia Gravis patients experience symptoms related to face and throat muscles, because of which they experience-
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing food
  • Alteration in speaking words
  • Problems in chewing your food
  • You may lose your smile or have limited facial expressions
  • Limb And Neck Muscles. Myasthenia Gravis in some cases causes weakness in your legs, arms and neck.(1)


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 30, 2021

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