Diseases of Thymus Gland

Written by norene anderson
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The thymus gland, located under the breastbone, plays a role in the immune system. Diseases associated with the thymus gland include myasthenia gravis and cancer.

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Myasthenia gravis shows characteristic signs of weakness of the skeletal muscles. This disease, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease, is associated with an abnormal thymus gland, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


Treatment for myasthenia gravis may include the removal of the diseased thymus gland (thymectomy) in order to bring the immune system back into balance.


According to the American Cancer Society, symptoms such as trouble swallowing, chest pain, headaches and facial swelling may indicate the presence of a tumour in the thymus gland (thymoma).

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A disease such as lymphoma, can affect the thymus gland, as well as the spleen and bone marrow, according to Mayo Clinic. Lymphoma includes non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma.


DiGeorge Syndrome, a complex congenital disorder, affects the growth and development of the thymus gland. Abnormalities in fetal development may result in an underdeveloped thymus. Repeated infections result from a diminished immune system, according to WebMD.

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