Patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) still experience disease burden despite the use of current treatments, according to a study based on patient-reported data published in BMJ Open.

Of 1412 respondents reporting their treatments, 83.7% indicated that they had received 1 or more routine treatments for MG in the previous 12 months before registering for the study. Of a smaller subset of 255 respondents who answered a follow-up question, 67.1% (n=171) indicated that they had experienced side effects from treatment within the previous month.

The most common side effects reported included tiredness (65.5%), muscle twitches (52.0%), weight gain (48.5%), and mood swings (46.8%). Headaches, sweating, and diarrhea were experienced by more than one-third of patients.

Comorbidities were reported by 64.6% of 1495 respondents. The most commonly reported comorbidities included thyroid problems (37.5%), high blood pressure (31.4%), anxiety (28.0%), depression (25.7%), high cholesterol (25.5%), gastrointestinal problems (24.1%), and respiratory diseases such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (21.8%). Over one-third of patients (36%) indicated that they experienced comorbidities that were not listed as provided options.

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Using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), 20.3% and 9.9% of the 889 respondents had moderate or severe anxiety, respectively. The HADS scale also indicated that 14.5% and 4.2% had moderate or severe depression, respectively.

Patient-reported data were collected for the study through the MyRealWorld MG app as part of a clinical trial (NCT04176211). The study included 1693 participants across Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The largest proportions of participants were female (69%) and residents of Italy (38.7%).

“This analysis of the MyRealWorld MG study indicates that, despite current treatments, patients still experience moderate burden. The results also indicate a considerable impact of emotional/psychological comorbidities, which warrants investigation,” the authors wrote.


Berrih-Aknin S, Palace J, Meisel A, et al. Patient-reported impact of myasthenia gravis in the real world: findings from a digital observational survey-based study (MyRealWorld MG). BMJ Open. 2023;13(5):e068104. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2022-068104