Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Fall 2014

Document Type

Project

Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo

Keywords

Autoimmune Diseases, Diagnosis, Neurological Disorders

Subject Categories

Immune System Diseases | Medical Pathology | Nursing

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a rare, chronic autoimmune disease that affects the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and the acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction (Mestecky, 2013). MG causes fluctuating skeletal muscle weakness and fatigue. According to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) (2010), 20 per 100,000 patients are diagnosed with MG, although researchers believe several more patients are misdiagnosed or missed entirely. Several neurological disorders have similar clinical presentations to MG making it difficult for inexperienced practitioners to identify and properly diagnose patients. Patients are often misdiagnosed and delayed proper treatment for one to two years after initial presentation of symptoms (Koch, Steele, & Koch, 2013). Remissions and exacerbations make MG difficult for practitioners to diagnose (Weeks, 2012).

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