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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Myasthenia gravis


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Overview

Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease. It is characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal muscles of the body. Common symptoms include weakness of the muscles that control the eye and eyelid; facial expressions; chewing; talking; and swallowing. Weakness tends to increase during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest.[1] The exact cause of myasthenia gravis is unknown. Some cases have been linked to tumors in the thymus gland.[2] Researchers believe that variations in certain genes may increase a person's risk to develop this condition, but it is likely that other factors also play a role.[3] There is no cure for myasthenia gravis, but lifestyle changes and some medicines may allow for periods without symptoms (remission).[1][2]
Last updated: 6/7/2016

References

  1. Myasthenia Gravis Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). July 27, 2015; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/myasthenia_gravis/detail_myasthenia_gravis.htm.
  2. Kantor D. Myasthenia gravis. MedlinePlus. June 1, 2015; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000712.htm.
  3. Myasthenia gravis. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). July 2012; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/myasthenia-gravis.
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Basic Information

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Myasthenia gravis. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The Muscular Dystrophy Association provides additional information on myasthenia gravis. Click on the link to view this information page.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Myasthenia gravis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

  • The Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases has published an article with information on this condition. This journal is affiliated with the Orphanet reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.