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Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis and Multiple Sclerosis

11/26/2007

Question:

My niece was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis when she was 4 years old. She had gone through all the proper medication and her illness (falling eyelid) was recovered after a few years. She is now 12. And these few days, notice the symptom comes back. Can Myasthenia Gravis be fully recovered at all?

Her mother, who is my sister-in-law, was dignosed with Multiple Sclerosis 4 years back. Her condition was not getting better. She is now having difficulty to walk properly.

Are Myasthenia Gravis and Multiple Sclerosis connected? Is my niece inherited her illness from the mother?

Answer:

Most people feel that multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis are autoimmune conditions, meaning that our own body is attacking one part of our nervous system. In multiple sclerosis, it is the central part (brain and spinal cord) and in myasthenia, it is the nerve connection to the muscle. There have been associations between the two diseases, but no definite causal link. Maybe it is better to think that she inherited a predisposition to autoimmune disease from her mother, rather than the disease itself.

People with myasthenia can have remissions of their disease, meaning the disease is quiet and not active. It is possible during these "quiet" periods to be almost normal, but it is not common to have complete recovery.

For more information:

Go to the Myasthenia Gravis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Robert W Neel, IV, MD Robert W Neel, IV, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati