270/365 – A-Z of myasthenia gravis 

Getting diagnosed with a rare condition that you haven’t heard of  is a confusing experience. Not least when there are lots of acronyms used to describe things surrounding. The below is a working list of MG related acronyms and terms you will come across, that might be confusing. Please comment if you know any others I should add.

A-Z

Anti-acetylcholinesterase agents: Drugs like Mestinon which allow acetylcholine to remain at the neuromuscular junction longer than usual so that more receptor sites can be activated.  More information on treatment on Myaware’s website.

CMS: congential myasthenic syndrome. Definition: An inherited neuromuscular disorder (genetic fault) and not an auto immune disorder.

EMG: electromyography is an electro diagnostic technique used for diagnosing myasthenia. It detects the electrical potential generated by muscle cells when these cells are electrically or neurologically activated. 

Immunosuppressants: Drugs, such as aziathioprine, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and mycophenolate mofetil,which suppress the immune system and are used in auto-immune conditions. More information on treatment on Myaware’s website.

IVIg: Intravenous immune globulins. Definition: This type of treatment is pooled human immunoglobulin type G (IgG) collected from blood donors. Immunoglobulins are the antibodies of the immune system. . More information on treatment on Myaware’s website.

LEMS: Lambert Eaton myasthenic syndrome. Definition: Auto immune system in which antibodies attack the nerve endings and stop muscles contracting. Unlike MG, LEMS symptoms start in the lower body. 

LOMG: late onset myasthenia gravis. For those that are diagnosed after 50.

MG: myasthenia gravis. A neuromuscular, auto-immune disease. In most common cases, muscle weakness is caused by circulating antibodies that block acetylcholine receptors at the nerve and muscle junction, inhibiting the  effects of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine stopping muscles from working fully.

Musk: muscle specific kinase is a receptor protein required for the formation and maintenance of the neuromuscular junction.

OMG: ocular myasthenia gravis. Definition: MG that only affects eyes.

PLEX or Plasmapheresis: Otherwise known as plasma exchange is a procedure that removes the abnormal antibodies from the plasma of the blood. More information on treatment on Myaware’s website.

Prednisolone: immunosuppressant steroid used to treat MG. More information on treatment on Myaware’s website.

Sero-negative myasthenia gravis: Around 10-20% of myasthenia gravis patients do not have acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies (seronegative), of whom some have antibodies to a membrane-linked muscle specific kinase (MuSK).

SFEMG: Single-fiber electromyography (SFEMG) is a selective EMG recording technique that allows identification of action potentials (APs) from individual muscle fibers. It can be used to diagnose MG. See EMG for more details. 

Spoonie: Read about the idea behind the spoon theory and spoonies on my 51st post. 

Thymectomy: Surgical removement of the thymus gland. It produces immune ‘T cells’, especially before age 40, and exports them to the rest of the body. It lies between the breastbone and the heart and may be involved in the immune reaction against the AChR. The procedure can improve myasthenia in some young-onset people.

Having started this I have just come across the Myaware A-Z which I had never seen before and it’s very thorough. 

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