Difficulty in breathing, extreme muscular weakness etc. can indicate a particular neuromuscular condition: Kauvery Hospital, Chennai

Two septuagenarians who presented, with a unique set of symptoms, diagnosed and successfully treated by the team

  • Myasthenia Gravis is a neuromuscular disease that leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness.
  • The incidence of generalized Myasthenia Gravis is significantly higher in women than men, and is generally found among persons above 40 years.

Chennai, 11th August 2022: Kauvery Hospital Chennai, a unit of Kauvery Group of Hospitals, a leading multispecialty healthcare chain in Tamil Nadu, today announced the successful treatment of a neuro-muscular disease - Myasthenia Gravis, an auto-immune condition, in two elderly individuals who presented with disabling and disturbing symptoms.

Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuro-muscular disease where the body produces antibodies against a chemical called acetylcholine, which is primarily responsible for the transmission of impulses and information from the nerve to the muscle at the myo-neural junction. The destruction of this chemical, at the myo-neural junction, by the antibodies produced against them results in disturbance in transmission of signals from the nerve to the muscle. As a result, one would experience weakness of the target muscle, for example - double vision, drooping of the upper eyelid, difficulty in swallowing, slurred or nasal speech, difficulty in chewing, extreme weakness in facial and neck muscles and, when severe, breathlessness from increasing weakness of muscles that facilitate breathing- inspiration and expiration.

Two individuals in their 70's, with a pre-existing vocal cord and voice box issues, presented with worsening of the problems.

The first individual had a history of long-standing Vocal Cord Palsy, a condition where the movement of the muscles in the throat that help to generate the voice have gone weak. He soon developed difficulty in swallowing and breathing as well. He consulted ENT and Lung specialists, who evaluated him extensively but could not find a specific reason for the deterioration. He was then advised consultation with a neurologist.

A Senior Consultant Neurologist in Kauvery Hospital diagnosed him to have Myasthenia Gravis. Demonstration of antibodies to Acetyl Choline, the chemical neurotransmitter, and related neuromuscular testing, together clinched the diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis. The necessary treatments were initiated post-diagnosis.

The second individual had a history of Laryngectomy- removal of the voicebox- performed on him as a part of treatment of a disease. He had a tracheostomy in place. He had to cover the gap in his throat in order to speak at all. Adding to his woes, he suddenly lost his voice, and had difficulty in breathing. He consulted many physicians and, finally received a diagnosis at Kauvery Hospital- Myasthenia Gravis, and was successfully treated

Speaking on the success of the treatment, Dr. Aravindan Selvaraj, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Kauvery hospital Chennai, said "Neurological conditions are a plenty, and each condition comes with different sets of symptoms and complications. An instance such as Myasthenia Gravis that presents with uncommon symptoms, mimicking heart or lung related conditions, needs the right approach from physicians. We have a great team of physicians who provide the right approach and guidance for people presenting with varying neurological diseases and their complications. I appreciate Dr. Bhuvaneshwari Rajendran, one of our senior consultants in Neurology and Neurophysiology, for her accurate diagnosis and treatment that helped to reverse the symptoms."

Both the individuals were appropriately treated with steroids post-diagnosis and have recovered successfully.


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