What is myasthenia gravis?

Also known as: grave muscle weakness, MG.

Myasthenia gravis is an uncommon chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease in children of all ages, ethnicities and genders. MG is characterized by muscle weakness of varying degree in many different areas of the body, it commonly affects the eyes, mouth, throat, arms and legs. MG tends to get worse during activity and improves after rest. There are 3 types of myasthenia gravis in children:

  1. Transient Neonatal MG, a temporary form of MG that occurs in babies born to mothers with MG.
  2. Juvenile MG, a lifelong autoimmune disorder that frequently occurs in white teenage girls.
  3. Congenital MG, a very rare form which starts at birth, is lifelong, is not an autoimmune disease but is inherited from an abnormal gene received from each parent.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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