Essay Myasthenia Gravis

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According to Medical-Surgical Nursing: 7th edition, Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease that can be considered as a chronic neuromuscular disorder (Lewis et al., 2007, p. 1555). MG is caused by an autoimmune process in which “antibodies attack acetylcholine (ACh) receptors, resulting in a decreased number of ACh receptor (AChR) sites at the neuromuscular junction” (p. 1555). Due to the neurotransmitter’s inability to connect the muscles and the nerves, it is difficult for the muscle to contract. This disease basically causes muscle fatigue and therefore a detrition of muscle strength over time. (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d.) In many respects, it is like a satellite unable to detect a signal when it is blocked by interfering …show more content…
MG is equally distributed among a population of various ethnicities, genders and ages. In the United States, approximately 20 out of 100,000 people contract this disease (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). Although it can occur at any age, the general population outside of the 10-65 year range infrequently contracts Myasthenia Gravis. However, studies have shown that woman from the ages 20 to 30 as well as men from the ages of 50 to 70 are more likely to contract the disease (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). It is sometimes present in babies of mothers affected by MG, as antibodies are transferred from the mother to the baby; however, neonatal MG is only temporary and the muscle weakness goes away after the first week of life (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). While there are no cures for MG at the moment, symptom suppressant medicines and procedures to keep the symptoms under control do exist. Immunosuppressive drugs are the most common route of action, and medication such as asprednisone, cyclosporine and azathioprine must be taken until the end of a person’s life (Bidner, 2011). Anticholinesterase drugs are utilized as well; their function is to improve the state of the neuromuscular junction. The most successful medications are neostigmine and pyridostigmine. Bidner (2011) continues on to say that common procedures for extreme cases are thymectomies, which removes the thymus (which is often abnormal

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