What are the symptoms of myasthenia gravis?
A 35 year old female patient came in to the clinic complaining of weakness. Previously, she noted having droopy eyelids which worsen in the afternoons. Recently, she experiences weakness that seems to affect her whole body. This woman captures the picture of the disorder called myasthenia gravis.
Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disorder that affects approximately 30 in 100,000 individuals. In patients younger than 40, women are more commonly affected. However, in older patients, both sexes are equally affected.
What is the relationship of a thymoma and myasthenia gravis?
A problem with the thymus appears to be a causative factor. In fact, 65% of patients with myasthenia gravis or MG have thymic hyperplasia or proliferation of the thymic cells. Another 15% have a tumor of the thymus called thymoma. This is the reason why some people with myasthenia gravis are treated with a surgical procedure known as thymectomy. However, other treatments for myasthenia gravis include anti-cholinesterase drugs, steroids (e.g. prednisone), and plasmapheresis.