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PRINTER'S NO. 1620
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE RESOLUTION
No.
283
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY KULIK, BIZZARRO, HILL-EVANS, RYAN, HENNESSEY,
DiGIROLAMO, BURNS, KINSEY, LONGIETTI, KORTZ, RAVENSTAHL,
PASHINSKI, MILLARD, SONNEY, McNEILL, CALTAGIRONE, READSHAW,
FREEMAN AND NEILSON, APRIL 30, 2019
INTRODUCED AS NONCONTROVERSIAL RESOLUTION UNDER RULE 35,
APRIL 30, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Recognizing the month of June 2019 as "Myasthenia Gravis
Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune
neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of
weakness of the skeletal muscles of the body; and
WHEREAS, MG first appeared in medical reports in 1672, but
did not earn its name, myasthenia gravis, which literally means
grave muscular weakness, until its adoption by the Berlin
Society of Psychiatry and Neurology in November 1899; and
WHEREAS, MG is caused by a defect in the transmission of
nerve impulses to muscles, whereby antibodies effectively block,
alter or destroy the nerve cell receptors that generate muscle
contraction; and
WHEREAS, MG is classified as an autoimmune disease due to the
fact that in cases involving MG the immune system, which
normally protects the body from foreign organisms, mistakenly
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sets upon a course to attack itself; and
WHEREAS, The prevalence rate of MG in the United States is an
estimated 14 to 20 out of every 100,000 people; and
WHEREAS, MG is indiscriminate in its affliction, as MG can
occur in all ethnic groups and genders, but primarily occurs in
young adult women under 40 years of age and men over 60 years of
age; and
WHEREAS, It is important to note that MG is not hereditary,
nor is it contagious, and, in most cases, MG's symptoms manifest
in the form of weakness of the eye muscles, difficulty in
swallowing, slurred or impaired speech, shortness of breath and
weakness in the arms, hands, fingers, legs or neck; and
WHEREAS, Since weakness is a common symptom of many
disorders, the diagnosis of MG is often overlooked or
unnecessarily deferred; and
WHEREAS, Approximately 15% to 20% of individuals with MG
experience at least one myasthenic crisis in their lifetime, in
which the muscles that control breathing weaken to the point
where a ventilator is required to breathe; and
WHEREAS, MG can generally be treated and controlled with the
use of medications, therapies or surgical procedures that
include anticholinesterase agents, immunosuppressive drugs,
plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulins or a thymectomy,
which is the removal of the thymus gland; and
WHEREAS, The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health,
maintains the primary responsibility of conducting and
supporting research on brain and nervous system disorders,
including MG; and
WHEREAS, Organizations such as the Myasthenia Gravis
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Foundation of America (MGFA), the Muscular Dystrophy Association
and the Myasthenia Gravis Association of Western Pennsylvania
(MGAWP) at Allegheny General Hospital are leading the effort to
foster a greater degree of education and outreach relating to
MG; and
WHEREAS, The MGFA's research committee has been instrumental
in supporting research that aims to improve the lives of
patients with MG by creating a comprehensive MG Patient Registry
and designating several broad research priorities, which include
biomarkers, mechanisms of disease, therapeutic strategies and
improving patient outcomes; and
WHEREAS, The MGAWP's treatment and advocacy center has played
an integral role in providing first-rate medical care and social
and emotional support to Pennsylvanians living with MG; and
WHEREAS, The observance of "Myasthenia Gravis Awareness
Month" provides additional outreach and education concerning MG
by informing the general public about MG's seriousness and
raising funds to help affected individuals; and
WHEREAS, Organizations like MGFA and MGAWP utilize the
observance of "Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month" to encourage
the general public and those living with MG to make effective
use of their social media platforms to spread greater awareness
about MG, engage close friends, relatives and others to attend
an MG screening, contribute financially to organizations
supporting the fight against MG and create awareness about MG in
their workplaces, organizations, schools and social circles; and
WHEREAS, The purpose of this resolution is to further the
laudable and worthwhile mission of MG advocates across the
nation to advance knowledge and awareness of a disorder
affecting the lives of many Pennsylvanians and Americans;
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therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize the
month of June 2019 as "Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month" in
Pennsylvania; and be it further
RESOLVED, That all Pennsylvanians be encouraged to learn more
about myasthenia gravis and explore ways that we can unite for a
cure.
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