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- AChR (acetylcholine receptor) antibodies
Antibodies usually attach to harmful things like bacteria. However, in gMG your body starts producing abnormal antibodies that instead attach to normal proteins in the NMJ. Most people with gMG make AChR antibodies. These antibodies activate the complement system (part of the immune system). Complement disrupts the structure of the neuromuscular junction itself and is one of the main causes of damage in AChR+ gMG.
Occurring suddenly and lasting for a short time. An acute disease is one with symptoms that only last for a short period of time. People with myasthenia gravis often experience both acute and chronic symptoms.
An antibody is part of your body's immune system that protects you by attacking foreign proteins.
A disease in which the immune system, which normally protects the body, attacks it instead.
Long-lasting, persistent, or constant. A chronic disease is one with symptoms that occur over a long period of time. People with myasthenia gravis often experience both chronic and acute symptoms.
- Complement system
Part of your immune system that enhances (complements) the ability of your immune cells to do their jobs in protecting you against disease.
An exacerbation is an acute (short- term) worsening of gMG symptoms.
A fluctuation in gMG occurs when you experience a change in muscle strength.
- Generalized myasthenia gravis
A chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which can worsen after periods of activity and improve after periods of rest. This weakness can affect moving, eating, and breathing.
- Immune system
A system that protects your body from foreign invaders by producing a response to fight infections and other threats.
- MuSK (muscle-specific tyrosine kinase) antibodies
MuSK antibodies are a type of antibody. Normally, antibodies attach to harmful things like bacteria. However, in gMG your body starts producing antibodies that instead attach to normal proteins in the NMJ. MuSK antibodies prevent the muscles from receiving messages properly from the nerves. When your muscles don't receive the signal, you experience muscle weakness.
- Myasthenia gravis activities of daily living (MG-ADL) scale
An 8-category questionnaire that allows you and your doctor to measure the symptoms that most affect your daily living. Each category is graded on a scale of 0 (normal) to 3 (most severe). An MG-ADL score can be between 0 and 24, with a higher score meaning your symptoms are more severe.
- Myasthenic crisis
A medical emergency where the muscles you use to breathe get very weak, leading to respiratory failure.
- Neuromuscular junction (NMJ)
The meeting place of nerves and muscles. When the NMJ is destroyed, your muscles get weaker.
- Quantitative myasthenia gravis (QMG) score
A 13-category questionnaire that allows your doctor to measure your physical function and muscle strength.
Myasthenia Gravis Activities of Daily Living Profile (MG-ADL)—a tool your doctor may use to assess the extent of your symptoms)—greater than or equal to 6
Some but not all of the following: ongoing weakness, difficulty speaking, problems with chewing or swallowing, impaired vision or drooping eyelid, shortness of breath, or difficulty with activities such as brushing your teeth or combing your hair—which can impact your daily quality of life
Progression of symptoms requiring frequent treatment changes and/or increase in treatment dosing
As gMG affects each person differently, uncontrolled disease can also vary person to person. The most common signs and symptoms that may indicate uncontrolled disease include:
It’s important to speak with your doctor if you are experiencing these signs and symptoms of gMG to understand if your disease may be uncontrolled.