Myasthenia gravis is a rare, chronic disorder that causes weakness
and rapid fatigue of muscles. The muscle weakness develops slowly, first
affecting the facial muscles and causing symptoms that include drooping
eyelids, double vision, and difficulty talking, chewing, swallowing, or
The exact cause of myasthenia gravis is not known. But it is known
that the antibodies formed by the body's immune system to fight infection
instead attack normal muscle tissue. Myasthenia gravis can occur at any age in
both women and men. But it is most common in young women who have problems with
the thymus gland.
Treatment for myasthenia gravis includes medicine to help reduce
and improve muscle weakness. Surgery to remove the thymus gland may be helpful
in some cases.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.