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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 20, 2018 04:17 PM
From: Representative Madeleine Dean and Rep. Anita Astorino Kulik
To: All House members
Subject: Designating June 2018 as "Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month"
In the near future, we will be introducing a resolution designating the month of June 2018 as “Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

Myasthenia gravis is a rare and chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder whereby antibodies destroy the communication between nerves and muscles, thus resulting in the weakening of skeletal muscles. The name myasthenia gravis is of both Greek and Latin origin and literally means “grave muscle weakness.” The symptoms of this disorder usually manifest themselves in the form of double vision, slurred or impaired speech, difficulty in swallowing, and weakened eye, neck and limb muscles.

As of this writing, the cause of myasthenia gravis is unknown and there is no known cure. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), myasthenia gravis affects about 20 per 100,000 people in the United States, and is more frequently seen in women under the age of 40 and in men 60 and older. It is also important to note that myasthenia gravis is neither contagious nor hereditary, and can be properly managed if diagnosed and treated early. However, due to the generic nature of the disorder’s symptomology, myasthenia gravis is frequently under-diagnosed.

Therefore, the intent of this resolution is to foster a greater degree of awareness about myasthenia gravis and to highlight the extraordinary work being done by several stakeholder organizations to improve health outcomes for those affected by the disorder. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the Myasthenia Gravis Association of America and the Myasthenia Gravis Association of Western Pennsylvania.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this very worthwhile and impactful resolution.