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What is myasthenia gravis?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disorder of the nerves and muscles of the body that causes progressive weakness and, often, drooping of the eyelids known as ocular myasthenia. This causes people to experience double vision as the day progresses.


Symptoms of MG may also occur predominantly in the throat with swallowing difficulties, problems with aspiration pneumonia (inflammation of lungs and airways due to breathing in a foreign material) or difficulty speaking.

In some cases, the arms and legs are weakened to the point that walking or daily activities are affected.


Diagnosis of MG is based upon blood tests, which may show elevated levels of specific antibodies. In some cases, the level of antibodies is not increased, and evaluation based upon nerve tests and EMG will be required.