T Nation

Myasthenia Gravis

Do any of you out there have any experience with individuals with this disease. A friend of mines son (he’s 13) was just diagnosed with this. Over the last year I have been helping him train for basketball and football, now the doctors say he should ‘take it easy’ and not do any strenuous activity. All of textbooks and web sources that I have scoured say that each case is unique to the individual and mention nothing about training for athletic performance. So… does this mean sports and performance conditioning are out of the picture for him? Anybody out there with any type of feedback would be greatly appreciated!

I’m not a neurologist, but am a graduating medical student that’s going into anesthesiology–so I’ll give you my recomendation. This condition deals with impaired muscular activation b/c of an autoimmune process (the body attacking itself) that effects the nerves. Depending on the muscles involved (yes it’s different for everyone) he will probably have weakness brought on by repetative use. This should, however, be releaved by a short rest. His medications should cover acute worsening of the condition, and his coaches should be informed that it can sometimes affect the diaphram (the muscle that basically allows breathing). Otherwise, I really don’t feel he should limit his life b/c of this. Of course, he needs to listen to his body and avoid illness as this can at times precipitate an attack. Look for other MD’s that are more open minded. I can’t tell you enough about the vast difference in younger doctors (like myself) and those that came from the old school. I mean, they used to tell pregnant women to stay off their feet and rest…a truely terrable thing for mother and child alike. Hope that helps.

Thanks for your insight. Right now, he is pretty fatigued, so much that he hasn’t gone to school for the last week. In addition, his parents are trying to get adjusted to the structured medication schedule. Hopefully, he can resume a somewhat normal lifestyle. My hope is that his parents won’t be too overprotective and let him be a kid.

DanB–He’s what is called “myasthenic crisis”. It will get better. Ultimately, he will be able to judge/perdict his fatigue level. Being involved with some sports should help his weakness…but–hey, we’ll have do abide by what his parents say. Encourage them to find a progressive thinking neurologist or internist. Good luck.