UNC faculty write, edit first handbook on myasthenia gravis specifically for health care professionals

Dr. James F. Howard Jr., distinguished professor of neuromuscular disease and chief of the neuromuscular disorders section in the Neurology department, served as editor.

The book, titled “Myasthenia Gravis: A Handbook for Health Care Professionals,” is described by its publisher as the first comprehensive manual on myasthenia gravis specifically for health care professionals.


Myasthenia gravis, also known as “grave muscle weakness,” is a disorder characterized by variable weakness of voluntary muscles, which often improves with rest and worsens with activity. The condition is caused by an abnormal immune response.

The book is written as an aid for health care personnel who are involved with the care and management of myasthenia gravis patients. It is divided into sections to assist health care professionals in their evaluation, diagnosis and management of myasthenia gravis.

Section authors included several current and former members of the School of Medicine and UNC Hospitals including H. Alexander Krob, M.D. [Neurology], Brian P. Barrick, D.D.S, M.D. and Robert W. Kyle, D.O. [Anesthesiology], Kimberly M. Johnson, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., C.C.M. [Clinical Care Management], Timothy Holmes, OTR/L, COMS [Occupational Therapy], Michael Thomas R.P.T. [formerly Physical Therapy], Susan G. Butler, Ph.D., CCC-SLP [formerly Speech Pathology], Tina M. Vassar, R.N. [formerly Nursing]  and Lauren L. Patten, D.D.S [Dental Ecology, School of Dentistry]

The MGFA website is www.myasthenia.org