What is Myasthenia

The myasthenias are a group of neuromuscular conditions. They are rare but also manageable. You aren’t alone, myasthenia can affect anyone, old or young and of any gender or nationality.

Myasthenia means muscle weakness

Myasthenia means muscle weakness. This is confined to the voluntary muscles, muscles whose action is normally controlled by an individual's will such as the arm and leg muscles, and does not affect either the autonomic system or sensation. The autonomic system regulates the functions of the heart, stomach and intestines. People with myasthenia have characteristically fatigable muscles and the harder people with myasthenia try, the weaker they get. They are often strongest in the mornings and get weaker during the day.

  • Myasthenia affects all ages and genders. It is treatable and can be brought under good control with medication. In some circumstances, it can be fatal.
  • It affects the muscles that let you move but not the automatic ones like your heart that you don't have to think about. Your brain tells your muscles to work, but the message doesn't get through.

Treatments generally work well and myasthenia doesn’t necessarily get worse over time but at present it isn’t curable so the best thing is to accept and adapt your lifestyle to accommodate it. Most treatments have side effects but with careful management from your doctors, most people learn to handle them. It will probably be a marathon not a sprint.

I have myasthenia, it doesn’t have me

The Neuromuscular Junction