#WeNurses - Tuesday 19th September 2017 8pm (GMT Standard Time) Myasrhenia Gravis: Understanding and Managing

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Myasthenia is a rare autoimmune neuromuscular condition.  The cause of the autoimmune response is not clear.  The condition can affect any one from 0 to hundred.  The key features of the condition are fatigable muscle weakness of specific muscle groups.  Dr Hilton-Jones describes managing myasthenia as one of the most satisfying conditions as it can be treated.

Although myasthenia responds well to treatment one of the most challenging aspects of myasthenia is the impact of the condition on individuals.  Although some elements of muscle weakness may be readily obvious with eye lid ptosis, an inability to smile or neck weakness some aspects are not readily obvious.  The experience of fluctuating skeletal muscle weakness and fatigue is sometimes met with disbelief as one minute individuals were able to do things such as carry a suitcase and minutes later they are unable to do so.   In other instances, individuals are assumed to be drunk because they are slurring their words.


This twitter chat intends to raise awareness about these rare condition addressing difficulties experienced by individuals with myasthenia and those caring for them by

  • Explaining the physiology of myasthenia and defining the different types of myasthenia
  • Raising awareness of the impact of myasthenia on individuals
  • Exploring and explaining treatment strategies
  • Developing understanding regarding the unique and variable impacts of this condition
  • Considering the patient’s perspective

Ultimately enabling healthcare professionals to effectively support individuals with myasthenia and enable them to live well.


Key Articles

American Association of NeuroscienceNurses (2013) Care of the patient with myasthenia gravis, ANNN ClinicalPractice Guideline Series. http://www.myasthenia.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=I2Imja5gU4s%3D&tabid=101

Hilton-Jones, D. (2007)  When the patient fails to respond totreatment: myasthenia gravis, Practical Neurology. 7(6), pp.405-11.


Hilton-Jones, D. andPalace, J. (2005) The Management of MyastheniaGravis.  Practical Neurology 5(1),pp.18-27.


Sussman, J.,  Farrugia, M. E.,  Maddison, P., Hill, M., Leite, M.I. and, Hilton-Jones,D. (2015) Myasthenia gravis: Association of British Neurologists’; managementguidelines, Practical Neurology.15(3), pp.199-206.


Vincent, A., Palace, J. and Hilton-Jones D. (2001) Myasthenia gravis, Lancet

357(9274), pp2122–2128.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(00)05186-2


About our guest host

Mary Quirke - "I am Mary Quirke a nurse with a working in neurosciences for nearly twenty years.  My clinical experience includes neurosurgery and neurology.  My professional passions include patient and staff safety, enhancing patient and staff experience and staff development.  To raise the awareness of neuroscience nursing and support the status of neuroscience nursing as a speciality I am also a Steering Committee member of the RCN Neuroscience forum and a committee member of the British Association of Neuroscience Nurses (BANN)."

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