Late-onset myasthenia gravis: a changing scene

Arch Neurol. 1999 Jan;56(1):25-7. doi: 10.1001/archneur.56.1.25.


The prevalence of myasthenia gravis (MG) among middle-aged and older patients has increased. Patients with early-onset MG live longer than before, but there is also an increase in late-onset MG (onset of the disease after the age of 50 years in patients with no clinical or paraclinical evidence of a thymoma). Epidemiological data support using the age of 50 years to separate early- and late-onset MG. The main immunological difference between early- and late-onset MG is the presence of antibodies to muscle titin, which are detected in approximately 50% of patients with late-onset MG. Treatment of late-onset MG has to be tailored both to the age of the patient and to the immunological findings of that particular form of MG.

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myasthenia Gravis / epidemiology*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence