myasthenia gravis


myasthenia gra·vis

noun \-ˈgra-vəs, -ˈgrä-\

Definition of MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

:  a disease characterized by progressive weakness and exhaustibility of voluntary muscles without atrophy or sensory disturbance and caused by an autoimmune attack on acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction

Origin of MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

New Latin, literally, grave myasthenia
First Known Use: 1900

myasthenia gra·vis

noun \-ˈgrav-əs, -ˈgräv-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of MYASTHENIA GRAVIS

: a disease characterized by progressive weakness and exhaustibility of voluntary muscles without atrophy or sensory disturbance and caused by an autoimmune attack on acetylcholine receptors at neuromuscular junctions

myasthenia gravis

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Chronic autoimmune disease causing muscle weakness. Autoantibodies block the response of muscle cells to acetylcholine. Muscles weaken with repeated use but regain their strength after rest. The pattern varies, but usually muscles used in eye movements, facial expressions, chewing, swallowing, and respiration are affected first, then neck, trunk, and limb muscles. Severe cases impede breathing. Anticholinesterase drugs stimulate nerve-impulse transmission, and corticosteroids may help. Removal of the thymus has improved severe cases. Remission lasting several years may occur.

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