There may be a possible physiological link between myasthenia gravis (MG) and depression, according to a new case study published in the journal Cureus. This idea “encourage(s) further research” into the possible association between the 2 diseases, the authors said.

The case is that of a 30-year-old female who was admitted to the hospital for MG exacerbation. She also underwent a psychiatric consultation due to worsening symptoms of depression. These included a sad mood, crying spells, loss of ability to feel pleasure, fatigue, insomnia, and feelings of guilt. 

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The team, led by Eduardo D. Espiridion, MD, also reported that the patients cited her declining health, recent job loss, and low self-esteem because of weight gain as psychosocial stressors. 

Her previous medical history included a thymectomy and a total thyroidectomy, which resulted in acquired hypothyroidism. She was being treated with prednisone and pyridostigmine.

The researchers identified several potential causes for the patient’s increasing symptoms of depression. These included her medications, the psychosocial stressors, as well as her medical history, on top of her actual condition. 

However, they added that according to the literature, depression is more common in patients with MG compared to people with no other comorbidity as well as compared to patients with other chronic conditions comparable to MG. 

The existing literature highlighted that there seems to be a positive link between increased depressive symptoms and the severity of MG, the researchers noted.

These data may suggest that MG “may contribute to the development of depression,” the authors concluded. “To gain a better understanding of the link between MG and depression, further research is warranted,” they said. “Such investigations will aid in the development of targeted interventions and effective management strategies for individuals with comorbid MG and depression, which will ultimately improve their overall well-being and [quality of life].”


Villa NE, Fiore GP, Espiridion ED. Insights into the association between myasthenia gravis and depression: a clinical case study. Cureus. Published online August 18, 2023. doi:10.7759/cureus.43682