Myasthenia Gravis

Myasthenia Gravis

What is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disease which is characterised by fluctuating, sometimes fatal muscle weakness. The body's immune system, in the form of antibodies, attacks and damages the nerve signal reception areas causing a breakdown in communication between the nerve and muscle, which results in a loss of effectiveness of the muscle.

What are the symptoms?

To someone effected by Myasthenia Gravis it means that symptoms vary according to the amount of activity undergone, the onset of stress or infection of any kind. As a result, diagnosis by a GP is extremely difficult. Also, family and friends need a great deal of understanding to come to terms with a relative or friend who seems perfectly normal one moment, and a few hours, or even minutes later is droopy and listless.

Activities taken for granted by most of us become difficult or even impossible at times for myasthenics. Simple things like eating food, lifting arms, speaking to friends or even laughing.

What support is there for those with the condition?

The Myasthenia Gravis Association (MGA) is dedicated to establishing a network of branches across Ireland, through which it can provide comfort and support to meet the needs of all sufferers and their families.

The Association is dedicated to a programme of education that will raise the awareness of the disease with the general public, and in particular, all branches of the medical profession, for the purposes of improving diagnosis and treatment.

The Association is also dedicated to funding medical and scientific research into the alleviation of the disease and ultimately establishing the cause and establishing a cure.  

There is a great need for funding to carry on the work of supporting myasthenics and promoting research.

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