Myasthenia gravis is a type of autoimmune and neuromuscular disorder. In Myasthenia gravis antibodies block alter or destroy the receptors for acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction which prevents the muscle contraction from occurring. These antibodies are produced by the bodies own immune system. Thus, myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease because the immune system which normally protects the body from foreign organisms mistakenly attacks itself. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system attacks healthy tissue by mistake.
The people who have myasthenia gravis, their body produces antibodies that block the messages or neurotransmitters from the nerve cell. Neuromuscular disorders involve the muscles and the nerves that control them. The name myasthenia gravis which is Latin and Greek and origin, literally means grave muscle weakness. With current therapies, however, most cases of myasthenia gravis are not as grave as the name implies.
In fact, for the majority of individuals with myasthenia gravis, life expectancy is not lessened by the disorder. Sometimes Myasthenia gravis is associated with degenerative scoliosis. Compare scoliosis treatment cost in India with respect to other countries, before you plan your medical tourism destination. In scoliosis there is an abrupt and abnormal lateral curve in the bones of the spine.
The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness that increases during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Certain muscles such as those that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expressions, chewing, talking, and swallowing are often but not always involved in the disorder. The muscles that control breathing and neck and limb movements may also be affected. Myasthenia gravis is thus defined as a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease, characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal or voluntary muscles of the body.
The thymus gland which lies in the upper chest area beneath the breastbone, plays an important role in the development of the immune system in the early life. The gland is somewhat large in infants and grows gradually until puberty, and then gets smaller and is replaced by fat with age. In adults with myasthenia gravis, the thymus gland is abnormal. It contains certain clusters of immune cells, indicative of lymphoid hyperplasia- a condition usually found only in the spleen and lymph nodes, during an active immune response.
Some individuals with myasthenia gravis develop thymonas or tumors of the thymus gland. Generally thymonas are benign but they can become malignant. It is believed that the thymus gland may give incorrect instructions to developing immune cells, ultimately resulting in autoimmunity and the production of the acetylcholine receptor antibodies. This there by sets the stage for the attack on neurotransmitters transmission.
Myasthenia gravis is caused by a defect in the transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. It occurs when the normal communication between the nerve and the muscles are interrupted at the neuromuscular junction- the place where the nerve cells connect with the muscles, they control. The nerve endings release a neurotransmitter substance called acetylcholine, which travels through the neuromuscular junction and binds to the acetylcholine receptors that are activated to generate a muscle contraction.