Cognitive dysfunction in individuals with myasthenia gravis

J Neurol Sci. 2000 Oct 1;179(S 1-2):59-64. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(00)00367-1.


In the present study we administered a battery of cognitive measures that examined attention, response fluency, information processing, and verbal and visual learning and retention to 28 individuals with generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) and 18 demographically similar control subjects. Results revealed that MG patients performed significantly more poorly than control subjects on the measures of response fluency, information processing and most measures of verbal and visual learning. Significant group differences were not evident on the measure of attention span or on the indices of retention of information. Cognitive performances of the MG group were not related to mood disturbance, disease duration, or daily dose of prednisone. While these results suggest central involvement in MG, previous studies have not provided evidence that MG antibodies bind to central nicotinic receptors. Possible alternative mechanisms underlying cognitive dysfunction in MG are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / complications*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / immunology
  • Myasthenia Gravis / physiopathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology