“gMG is a snowflake disease—no two people experience it the same.”

Greg, living with gMG for 18 years

gMG is a snowflake disease—no two people experience it the same.
gMG is a snowflake disease—no two people experience it the same.
Patient Portrayal

UNDERSTANDING UNCONTROLLED gMG

As a chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular disease, myasthenia gravis (MG) is a condition that may be present in your life for years.

Generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) is a more severe form of MG, and may result in unpredictable symptoms that cause weakness throughout your entire body.

What is uncontrolled gMG?

Take a closer look at what uncontrolled gMG means, and hear from others living with the condition.

Myth

Most people with gMG are well-controlled while on treatment

Fact

For a majority of people, their gMG remains uncontrolled, meaning they can experience debilitating chronic symptoms that impact daily life—even if they're on treatment

Myth

Exacerbations happen very rarely

Fact

Almost half of people experience an exacerbation (an acute worsening of symptoms) over a 6-month period

Myth

gMG is predictable and has only a minor impact on daily life

Fact

gMG can be unpredictable. 
The symptoms can vary by the person, day, or hour—greatly impacting daily life

THE ONE CONSTANT OF gMG IS ITS UNPREDICTABILITY

Your day-to-day experience, the risk of serious events, and the triggers of your gMG symptoms can make living with gMG feel completely unpredictable.

“Life with gMG is not a journey, it is an odyssey. You never know what is going to come up and throw off your goals.”

Greg, living with gMG for 18 years

The one constant of gMG is its unpredictability
The one constant of gMG is its unpredictability
Patient Portrayal

gMG CAN FEEL UNPREDICTABLE

 

The two phases of gMG

Initial

~2-3 years

After being diagnosed, symptoms typically worsen, reaching their peak within the first 2 years. But for 1 in 5 people, worsening symptoms may continue after 2 years.

Continual

After the initial stage, people may continue to experience unpredictable and serious symptoms.

  • Initial

    ~2-3 years

    After being diagnosed, symptoms typically worsen, reaching their peak within the first 2 years. But for 1 in 5 people, worsening symptoms may continue after 2 years.

  • Continual

    After the initial stage, people may continue to experience unpredictable and serious symptoms.

The two phases of gMG

Initial

~2-3 years

After being diagnosed, symptoms typically worsen, reaching their peak within the first 2 years. But for 1 in 5 people, worsening symptoms may continue after 2 years.

Continual

After the initial stage, people may continue to experience unpredictable and serious symptoms.

  • Initial

    ~2-3 years

    After being diagnosed, symptoms typically worsen, reaching their peak within the first 2 years. But for 1 in 5 people, worsening symptoms may continue after 2 years.

  • Continual

    After the initial stage, people may continue to experience unpredictable and serious symptoms.

Symptoms can feel unpredictable

If your gMG is uncontrolled, the unpredictability of this disease may always feel present.

gMG symptom fluctuations can be spontaneous, changing by the person, day, or hour.

gMG symptom fluctuations can be spontaneous, changing by the person, day, or hour.

2 out of 10 people with gMG may experience a myasthenic crisis that may require hospitalization at least once during their lifetime.

2 out of 10 people with gMG may experience a myasthenic crisis that may require hospitalization at least once during their lifetime.

 

Triggers can feel unpredictable

gMG symptoms can worsen suddenly, caused by triggers beyond your control.

gMG symptoms can worsen suddenly, caused by triggers beyond your control.

Triggers may include:

  • Mental or physical stress
  • Changes in weather
  • Infections
  • Certain drugs
  • Vaccinations

MG EXPLAINED

Myasthenia gravis (MG) affects everyone differently, so understanding the condition can often feel overwhelming. Learning more about the science behind MG can help you more clearly communicate your symptoms with your doctor.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) affects everyone differently
Myasthenia gravis (MG) affects everyone differently
Patient Portrayal

WHAT IS MG?

Myasthenia gravis is a rare, chronic autoimmune neuromuscular condition.

MG is a chronic condition, meaning that it can last for a long time. But it's important to remember that you are not alone. Between 36,000-60,000 people in the US are estimated to have MG.

The condition affects women at a younger age (under 50), while men are more likely to develop it after the age of 50.


There are two main types of MG:
SVG
Ocular MG
Ocular MG

Most people experience ocular MG symptoms first. This means the muscles that control the eyes and eyelids are easily fatigued and weakened.

These symptoms include:

  • Diplopia: double vision
  • Ptosis: eye drooping
SVG
Generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG)
Generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG)

gMG is considered a more severe form of the disease that affects the muscles throughout the entire body, including the eyes.

gMG weakness can disrupt everyday activities including walking, chewing, and breathing.

While gMG may often be referred to as MG, it is important to know gMG is a different form of the condition with different symptoms.

 

I think any time you are affected by a physical illness you have to look at it as a learning opportunity. There is a lot that can be gained from it and in everyone’s life a little rain must fall.

Michael,
living with gMG for 30 years

WHAT CAUSES gMG?

The chronic muscle weakness of gMG is caused by a constant attack on the meeting place of nerves and muscles called the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). This attack prevents muscles from receiving messages properly from the nerves.

When your muscles don't receive the signal, you experience muscle weakness.

The neuromuscular junction
The neuromuscular junction

 

This attack is caused by antibodies and the complement system—2 essential parts of your immune system, which normally works to protect you. 

Image
AChR
  1. People with gMG make a type of antibody (called the AChR+ antibody) that activates the immune system and damages the NMJ. This disrupts normal communication between nerves and muscles. 
Image
AChr complement
  1. The antibody activates the complement system (part of the immune system), which acts like a wrecking ball and interrupts signals that tell muscles to move, making them weak. 

Glossary