Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease leading to fluctuating muscle weakness and fatiguability. It is an autoimmune disorder, in which weakness is caused by circulating antibodies that block acetylcholine receptors at the postsynaptic neuromuscular junction, inhibiting the excitatory effects of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine on nicotinic receptors throughout neuromuscular junctions. Myasthenia is treated medically with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or immunosuppressants, and, in selected cases, thymectomy. The disease incidence is 330 cases per million per year and rising as a result of increased awareness. MG must be distinguished from congenital myasthenic syndromes that can present similar symptoms but offer no response to immunosuppressive treatments.
Contributions by Jfdwolff, PizzaMan, and Davidruben.