Myasthenia gravis historical perspective

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Myasthenia gravis Microchapters


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Historical Perspective




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Case #1

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] ; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Fahimeh Shojaei, M.D.


In 1664,Virginian Chroniclers was the first to described Myasthenia gravis. His symptoms included fatigue, heavy eyelids and weak muscle tone. In the late 1800s the name Myasthenia gravis was created and the classic symptoms of the disease were described. The autoimmune nature of this disease was first described by Simpson and Nastuck in 1959-1960. The first important step in treatment of MG occurred in 1934 by Marry Walker. She observed that the symptoms of patients with myasthenia gravis in similar to those with curare poisoning so their symptoms can improve by a cholinesterase inhibitor like physostigmine. In 1937 Blalock described an improvement in his patient after removal of the thymus and established thymectomy as one of the treatment options of MG. In 1970s the use of immunosuppressants, azathioprine and plasma exchange became more prevalent.

Historical Perspective


Landmark Events in the Development of Treatment Strategies

Famous Cases

The following are a few famous cases of disease name:


  1. Marsteller HB (February 1988). "The first American case of myasthenia gravis". Arch. Neurol. 45 (2): 185–7. PMID 3277598.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pascuzzi RM (May 1994). "The history of myasthenia gravis". Neurol Clin. 12 (2): 231–42. PMID 8041339.
  3. Keesey JC (July 2002). ""Crisis" in myasthenia gravis: an historical perspective". Muscle Nerve. 26 (1): 1–3. doi:10.1002/mus.10095. PMID 12115943.
  4. NASTUK WL, STRAUSS AJ, OSSERMAN KE (March 1959). "Search for a neuromuscular blocking agent in the blood of patients with myasthenia gravis". Am. J. Med. 26 (3): 394–409. PMID 13626994.
  5. Walker MB (April 1935). "Case showing the Effect of Prostigmin on Myasthenia Gravis". Proc. R. Soc. Med. 28 (6): 759–61. PMC 2205570. PMID 19990268.
  6. Rowland LP (July 1980). "Controversies about the treatment of myasthenia gravis". J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry. 43 (7): 644–59. PMC 490631. PMID 7400825.
  7. Lehmann HC, Hartung HP, Hetzel GR, Stüve O, Kieseier BC (August 2006). "Plasma exchange in neuroimmunological disorders: part 2. Treatment of neuromuscular disorders". Arch. Neurol. 63 (8): 1066–71. doi:10.1001/archneur.63.8.1066. PMID 16908731.

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