Additional Facts About Managing Myasthenia Gravis

Thymectomy
Another myasthenia gravis treatment is thymectomy. This is the surgical removal of the thymus gland, which is usually abnormal in people with myasthenia gravis. This surgery reduces symptoms in more than 70 percent of people without thymoma and may cure some people by rebalancing the immune system.
 
Plasmapheresis
Other treatment options for myasthenia gravis include plasmapheresis, which is a procedure in which blood is separated into cells and plasma (liquid). The plasma is removed and replaced with fresh frozen plasma, a blood product called albumin, and/or a plasma substitute. The procedure is often referred to as plasma exchange. Plasmapheresis may be used to help individuals during especially difficult periods of weakness.
 
High-Dose Intravenous Immune Globulin
In some autoimmune diseases, including myasthenia gravis, one particular type of antibody is produced in large numbers and is attacking the person's healthy tissue. In these cases, high-dose immune globulin can be given to suppress the immune system. As with plasmapheresis, high-dose intravenous immune globulin may be used to help individuals during especially difficult periods of weakness.
 

Factors That Affect Myasthenia Gravis Treatment

A neurologist will determine which treatment is best for each individual depending on:
 
  • The severity of the weakness
  • Which muscles are affected
  • The individual's age
  • Other associated medical problems.
 
With proper treatment, the myasthenia gravis prognosis for most people is good, because there is a significant improvement in muscle weakness. Most people can expect to lead normal or nearly normal lives.
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Myasthenia Gravis Disease

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