Patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) may suffer from a variety of cognitive disorders, according to a recent meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Neuroscience.

“Our results confirmed that patients with MG may have declines in cognitive function, including in the domains of language, visuospatial function, information processing, verbal immediate and delayed recall memory, visual immediate recall memory, and response fluency, while attention, executive function, and visual delayed recall memory are unimpaired,” the authors said.

Patients with MG had lower scores in the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Boston Naming Test, the Trail Making Test A and Test B, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test compared to healthy controls.

They also had worse performances than healthy controls in verbal immediate and delayed recall memory, visual immediate recall memory, letter fluency, and semantic fluency scores.

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Moreover, patients with early-onset MG and generalized MG performed significantly worse than healthy controls. In contrast, patients with late-onset MG and ocular MG showed similar results to those of healthy controls. These findings suggest that both ages of onset and disease severity may be associated with cognitive impairment in MG patients.

The authors did not find significant differences in digit forward, digit backward, visual delayed recall memory, Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT), and SCWT time between patients with MG and healthy controls.

These findings were drawn from the analysis of 8 studies (from 1990 to 2020), with a total of 381 patients with MG and 220 healthy controls. Other studies have also reported nonmotor symptoms in patients with MG, including cognitive and psychosocial issues, sleep disturbance, and autonomic dysfunction.


Zhou X, Cao S, Hou J, Gui T, Zhu F, Xue Q. Association between myasthenia gravis and cognitive disorders: a PRISMA-compliant meta-analysis. Int J Neurosci. Published online March 14, 2022. doi:10.1080/00207454.2022.2031183