Insights Into the Association Between Myasthenia Gravis and Depression: A Clinical Case Study.

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Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a serious and debilitating autoimmune disease characterized by muscle weakness, shortness of breath, and issues affecting the eyes, limbs, throat, and speech. Given the intense physical toll of the disease, it is unsurprising that higher rates of depression are observed among MG patients. We present a case involving a 30-year-old female patient who was admitted to the hospital for MG exacerbation and had a psychiatric consultation for worsening depression symptoms. The patient acknowledged symptoms of sad mood, crying spells, anhedonia, fatigue, insomnia, and inappropriate guilt. She admits to psychosocial stressors of her declining health, recent job loss, and low self-esteem due to weight gain. Past medical history includes a thymectomy and a total thyroidectomy that caused postsurgical-acquired hypothyroidism. She is currently on prednisone and pyridostigmine for her MG. The patient has many potential causes of her increased depressive symptoms, including her medications, psychosocial stressors, and her past medical history, in addition to her MG. However, the literature shows higher incidence rates of depression in MG patients compared to both healthy controls and controls with other comparable chronic conditions, as well as shows a positive association between increased depressive symptoms and MG severity. Thus, these findings prompt the consideration of possible physiological interplay between the two diseases and encourage further research into the association between MG and depression.

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