Expressing that Myasthenia Gravis (MG), an autoimmune disease, is caused by the body’s own immune system fighting the regions that sense the signals that allow for communication between nerve cells and muscles, explained neurology expert Dr. Yüksel Dede said: “Failure to transmit nerve impulses to the muscles results in muscle weakness. Today, this problem, which has important implications for patients’ quality of life, can be brought under control and managed with new diagnosis and treatment methods. MG can associated with some other autoimmune diseases such as neuromyelitis optica, autoimmune thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and rheumatoid arthritis.In addition, some studies have shown that the postpartum period is a high-risk period for the disease in women who are mothers Muscle weakness due to MG worsens with activity but improves with rest, however, both the severity of muscle weakness and the muscles affected can vary from person to person.
“SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE MUSCLE WEAKNESS AND FAILURE”
Emphasizing that the symptoms of the disease are similar to many common different diseases, it can take some time to get a diagnosis, says Dr. On the symptoms of the disease, Dede said, “Symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis are muscle weakness and fatigue. Eye muscles, facial and masticatory muscles, neck, arm and leg muscles and even the respiratory muscles can be affected. It usually manifests with symptoms such as droopy eyelids, double vision, difficulty speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing and general muscle weakness. In particular, there is a fatigue that changes throughout the day. While patients feel better in the morning, they complain of muscle weakness that increases towards evening. As the muscles are used, the findings become more apparent, and as the muscles rest, muscle strength returns.
“THE TREATMENT CAN PROVIDE EFFECTIVE RESULTS IN MOST CASES”
Dr. Dede said: “First of all, a detailed medical history must be taken from the patient with the appropriate symptoms, then a detailed neurological examination is performed and a diagnosis is made with tests to support the diagnosis, such as blood tests and electromyography (EMG). At the point reached today, there is MG treatment and effective results can be achieved in most cases. Treatment is usually aimed at managing symptoms, increasing muscle strength, and improving quality of life. In the treatment of MG, treatments are first applied to remove the aforementioned signal disturbance between nerve and muscle. In addition, immunosuppressive treatments are used to calm the immune system in order to suppress the immune response against the body’s own muscle-nerve connection. Treatment approaches are chosen individually, taking into account factors such as the patient’s symptoms, the severity and prevalence of the disease, and sometimes surgical procedures such as oral, sometimes intravenous and sometimes surgical procedures such as thymectomy may be required.
“REGULAR FOLLOW-UP IS IMPORTANT FOR DISEASE CONTROL”
Recalling that myasthenia gravis is a chronic condition and that the treatment process is usually lifelong, Dr. Dede said: “Thanks to modern treatment methods and medicines, most people’s symptoms can be controlled and the person can lead an active life. At this stage, regular medical follow-up is important for symptom management and improvement of a personalized treatment plan.
“THE SEVERITY OF SYMPTOMS CAN BE REDUCE BY TAKING PRECAUTIONS”
Dr. Dede listed the things patients should be aware of as follows:
“If you have been diagnosed with MG, regular medical follow-up is important. Your doctor can monitor the course of symptoms, adjust your medications, and adjust the treatment plan as needed. Regular use of medications is important in the treatment of MG. Some medications that MG patients are supposed to take for other illnesses can cause their illness to flare up. For this reason, before taking any medication, it is necessary to inform and consult your doctor on the subject.
Supportive treatments such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and breathing exercises contribute to strengthening muscles, increasing mobility and improving communication skills. People with MG should pay attention to their normal rest and sleep habits to better manage their energy. Planning physical activities, avoiding overly strenuous activities, and resting when necessary will help control symptoms. Excessive stress can make symptoms worse, so activities such as meditation and breathing exercises to reduce stress will be beneficial.
In the case of MG, it is important to be protected from secondary infections as they can become more susceptible to infection. Attention to hand hygiene, following the vaccination schedule, having up-to-date vaccinations and limiting contact with sick people reduce the risk of infection. Hot weather conditions can affect MG patients and extreme temperatures can make symptoms worse. Therefore, it is important to keep the ambient temperature at an appropriate level and avoid being in extremely hot environments. Following a healthy and balanced diet plan and drinking enough water will be beneficial as it supports overall health.”