The 5th Annual Arlene's MG Walk is this weekend in Homewood. It benefits the Myasthenia Gravis Society, which aims to raise awareness about MG and assist patients in their journeys. Arlene's MG Walk honors MGS board member Arlene Stuckey, an MG patient in remission and one of the instrumental founding members of the society. Myasthenia Gravis Society is dedicated to improving the lives of persons affected with Myasthenia Gravis through awareness, education and patient support services. Myasthenia Gravis Society has made great strides in the fight against myasthenia. When the diagnosis is made, patients are often filled with fear, anxiety, limitations, frustration, depression, and anger, but when myasthenics gather to seek information, they hear the collective voice of the MG community offering advice, sharing experiences and providing emotional support. It is our aim to assist patients in this journey. Myasthenia gravis occurs in all races, both sexes and at any age. Myasthenia gravis is not believed to be inherited nor is it contagious. It can affect any muscle that is under voluntary control. Certain muscles are more frequently involved. These include those that control eye movements, eyelids, chewing, swallowing, coughing and facial expressions. Muscles that control breathing, voice and movements of the arms and legs may also be affected. Weakness of the muscles needed for breathing may cause shortness of breath, difficulty coughing and taking a deep breath. The muscle weakness of myasthenia gravis increases with continued activity and improves after rest. Muscle involvement varies greatly from one patient to the next. Weakness may be limited only to eye muscles and eyelids. Severe myasthenia gravis symptoms can affect breathing muscles. The degree and distribution of muscle weakness for most fall between these two extremes and will fluctuate. When weakness is most severe, hospitalization is usually required to help prevent a myasthenic crisis. There is no cure but there are effective treatments that allow most patients to lead productive lives. Medications are the most frequently used method of treatment. It is very important for patients suspected of having MG to see their physician or neurologist quickly. A delay in the diagnosis can cause unnecessary health problems and diagnosis can be difficult in some cases. The sooner the patient is treated, the sooner he or she can improve their quality of life. Treatment decisions are based on knowledge of the natural progression of MG in each patient and the predicted response to a specific form of therapy. Treatment goals are individualized according to the severity of weakness, the patient's age and sex, and the degree of impairment. In summary, no two patients are alike, both in the manifestation of their MG and the treatment of it. The annual MGS Walk is this Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Homewood Senior Center/Patriot Park - 816 Oak Grove Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209. Bring your pets, frisbees, sunglasses to enjoy a great day in the park learning about Myasthenia Gravis!