During the recent epidemics of so-called lethargic encephalitis, a number of cases presented the syndrome of myasthenia with involvement of the muscles innervated by the motor cranial nerves, which were at times impossible to distinguish from genuine myasthenia gravis. This occurrence has led to renewed interest in the study of the symptom-complex known as myasthenia gravis.
Synonyms for myasthenia gravis are myasthenia gravis pseudoparalytica; asthenic bulbar paralysis; asthenic paralysis; bulbar paralysis without pathologic lesions; Erb's disease; Erb-Goldflam disease.
The disease was first described by Wilkes in 1877, and by Erb in 1878. The latter pointed out that although the clinical picture resembled that of Duchenne's bulbar paralysis, he could not classify it as such. He emphasized the characteristics of the condition as a combination of bulbar symptoms, ptosis and weakness of the muscles of chewing and of the muscles of the back of the neck. After this, practically
KESCHNER M, STRAUSS I. MYASTHENIA GRAVIS. Arch NeurPsych. 1927;17(3):337–376. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1927.02200330056005
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