Chapter

The Diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis and Other Disorders of Neuromuscular Transmission

James F. Howard

in Myasthenia Gravis and Myasthenic Disorders

Second edition

Published on behalf of © 2012 by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199738670
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199322848 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199738670.003.0005

Series: Contemporary Neurology Series

The Diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis and Other Disorders of Neuromuscular Transmission

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Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most common primary disorder of neuromuscular transmission. In most patients it is an acquired immunological abnormality, but in some patients a similar disease results from a genetic defect that alters neuromuscular transmission (see Chapter 8). Much has been learned about the pathophysiology and immunopathology of MG during the past 40 years. What was once a relatively obscure condition—of interest primarily to neurologists—is now the best characterized and understood autoimmune disease. However, the clinical presentations of the disease are protean and include varying combinations of ocular, bulbar, axial, and limb involvement. The possibility of MG has been overlooked in many patients and has delayed diagnosis sometimes for several years because complaints of fatigue and weakness increased by stress and day-to-day variation of symptoms suggest depression, conversion reaction, or malingering.

Chapter.  13175 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology

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