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Myasthenia gravis


Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare, chronic, autoimmune, neuromuscular1 condition where the body’s immune system mistakenly targets the connection between the nerves and the muscles2.

In people living with MG, voluntary muscles don’t respond well to the signals sent by the brain.3 The main symptoms are extreme muscle weakness and fatigue4.

Additionally, the severity of muscle weakness worsens over time, an event called muscle ‘fatigability’4. On rare occasions the weakness can be life-threatening when people lose the ability to swallow or to breathe5. This is an MG crisis5.

The actual symptoms of MG vary greatly, so individuals experience it in a very personal way which can cause profound uncertainty1,6.

For every 100,000 people, 10 people will be living with MG.

Fast facts

  • For 65% of people, the first signs of MG are problems with the eyes, such as double vision or drooping eyelids7,8.
  • 75% of people will develop more generalised weakness of muscles across the body7. Symptoms & disease severity tend to be worst and to fluctuate more within the first 3 years9.
  • Between 15-20% of people with MG will experience a myasthenic crisis, that can lead to problems swallowing and respiratory failure10.


Symptoms of MG are unpredictable and can fluctuate over days or even hours.

  • Extreme muscle weakness
  • Change in facial expression
  • Fatigue
  • Head drop or head lag
  • Impaired speech (dysarthria)
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

A recent review of unpromoted patient reporting on their experience with MG across social media has shed new light on the true symptom burden, levels of misdiagnosis and lack of recognition experienced by those living with MG. The research highlights a clear need for greater understanding of patients who, for a variety of reasons, currently feel somewhat invisible.


What treatments are there for MG?

There is currently no cure for MG13. There are a number of options available to help manage and control MG symptoms14. Whilst treatments are effective for most, they do not help all people with the condition15.