|Causes | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatments|
To understand the cause of Myasthenia Gravis (MG), the physiology behind muscle movement has to be understood. When the brain wants to move a muscle it sends an electrical signal through the nerves. Once that signal reaches the end of the nerve, a chemical known as acetylcholine is released from the nerve which attaches itself to binding sites on the muscle membrane called receptors. When this happens a series of chemical reactions are set into motion that causes the muscle to contract. In Myasthenia Gravis the body’s immune system attacks the binding sites for the acetylcholine which causes a communication problem between the nerve and the muscle. As a result, the nerve needs to release higher number of acetylcholine molecules to make the muscle contract. When the nerve tries to make the muscle contract repeatedly, it is not able to make enough acetylcholine and the patient becomes weak. As the disease progresses more of the acetylcholine receptors are destroyed and the patient becomes weaker and weaker. Treatment is aimed at reducing the immune system's attack on the receptors so that they can regenerate. Usually treatment is very effective and patients find significant relief. Dr. Shaoulian is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of Myasthenia Gravis.