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Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis Question

01/29/2008

Question:

Hi, I am 28 year old female and was diagnosed with MG 5 months ago. My only symptom at that time was a droopy eyelid and I got tests done, and I was diagnosed with MG after tests. Here`s my question. If MG is not progressive, then why has my MG symptoms gotten worse? I`m experiencing way more symptoms now then I did 5 months ago. Like I said, I used to only have a droopy eyelid. Now, I`m slurring when I talk, I have double vision, my fingers tire when I type, so I can`t type like I normally do, and I`m weak in my arms and tire easily now.

Thank you.

Answer:

About 80% of patients who start with just ocular symptoms progress to generalized myasthenia. Twenty percent of patients diagnosed with ocular myasthenia remain with predominant ocular symptoms. About 80% go on to develop generalized myasthenia within 2 years, including generalized fatigue, shortness of breath, trouble talking and chewing,and large muscle group weakness. If only ocular symptoms remain after 2 years, the chance for not generalizing remains good.

Go back to your treating physician and make him/her aware of this. Progression of disease could mean it is time for different therapy. In the interim, pay special attention to choking and difficulty breathing (first with exertion, then with rest). This is a sign of worsening disease that is more than just irritating: it can be dangerous and merits emergency evaluation.

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