Overview

Myasthenia gravis (my-us-THEE-nee-uh GRAY-vis) is characterized by weakness and rapid fatigue of any of the muscles under your voluntary control.

Myasthenia gravis is caused by a breakdown in the normal communication between nerves and muscles.

There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but treatment can help relieve signs and symptoms, such as weakness of arm or leg muscles, double vision, drooping eyelids, and difficulties with speech, chewing, swallowing and breathing.

Though myasthenia gravis can affect people of any age, it's more common in women younger than 40 and in men older than 60.

Myasthenia gravis care at Mayo Clinic

April 23, 2016
References
  1. Kliegman RM, et al. Disorders of neuromuscular transmission and of motor neurons. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  2. Myasthenia gravis fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myasthenia_gravis/detail_myasthenia_gravis.htm. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  3. Ferri FF. Myasthenia gravis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  4. Myasthenia gravis. Office of Women's Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/myasthenia-gravis.html. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  5. Bird SJ. Clinical manifestations of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  6. Myasthenia gravis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/myasthenia-gravis. Accessed Jan. 15, 2016.
  7. Allan WC. Pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  8. Gilhus NE, et al. Myasthenia gravis: Subgroup classification and therapeutic strategies. The Lancet Neurology. 2015;14:1023.
  9. Avidan N, et al. Genetic basis of myasthenia gravis: A comprehensive review. Journal of Autoimmunity. 2014;52:145.
  10. Bird SJ. Treatment of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  11. Bird SJ. Diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  12. Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Jan. 18, 2016.
  13. Rowse PG, et al. Minimally invasive thymectomy: The Mayo Clinic experience. Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery. 2015;4:519.
  14. Ye B, et al. Surgical techniques for early stage thymoma: Video-assisted thoracoscopic thymectomy versus transsternal thymectomy. Journals of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2014;147:1599.
  15. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Myasthenia gravis: A guide for patients. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2003.
  16. Riggin ER. EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 19, 2016.
  17. Crum BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 5, 2016.