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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Myasthenia Gravis

What is an Autoimmune Disease?

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “If a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks self, targeting the cells, tissues, and organs of a person’s own body.” Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune and neurological disease characterized by variable weakness of voluntary muscles. It is most common in young women and older men.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Myasthenia Gravis
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the public. Includes information about the diagnosis and treatment of myasthenia gravis.


The Health Learning Center has several models of the nervous and skeletal systems. Check with a staff person or volunteer for assistance. To gain a better understanding of how the immune system works, visit the following site:

Immune System and Disorders

Journal Articles

  • “Myasthenia gravis: A treatable muscle weakness disorder.” Mayo Clinic Health Letter. 25(3):6. March 2007.


All references below are available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library.

  • Cambridge historical dictionary of disease. Kiple K, ed. 2003.
  • Gale encyclopedia of genetic disorders. Narins B, ed. 2010.
  • Gale encyclopedia of medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2006.
  • Gale encyclopedia of neurological disorders. Chamberlin S, ed. 2005.


Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America
Phone: 800.541.54541

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Health Learning Centerat 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateJanuary 13, 2012