Inflammatory Myopathies Information Page

Inflammatory Myopathies Information Page


What research is being done?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the collaborative efforts of its National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), conducts and supports a wide range of research on neuromuscular disorders, including the inflammatory myopathies.  The NINDS and NIAMS are funding DNA analyses using microarrays to characterize patterns of muscle gene expression among adult and juvenile individuals with distinct subtypes of inflammatory myopathies.  Findings will be used to refine disease classification and provide clues to the pathology of these disorders.  Other NIH-funded research is studying prior viral infection as a precursor to inflammatory myopathy.  Other research hopes to determine whether the drug infliximab, which blocks a protein that is associated with harmful inflammation, is safe and effective in treating dermatomyositis and polymyositis.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Myositis

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What research is being done?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the collaborative efforts of its National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), conducts and supports a wide range of research on neuromuscular disorders, including the inflammatory myopathies.  The NINDS and NIAMS are funding DNA analyses using microarrays to characterize patterns of muscle gene expression among adult and juvenile individuals with distinct subtypes of inflammatory myopathies.  Findings will be used to refine disease classification and provide clues to the pathology of these disorders.  Other NIH-funded research is studying prior viral infection as a precursor to inflammatory myopathy.  Other research hopes to determine whether the drug infliximab, which blocks a protein that is associated with harmful inflammation, is safe and effective in treating dermatomyositis and polymyositis.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Myositis

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the collaborative efforts of its National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), conducts and supports a wide range of research on neuromuscular disorders, including the inflammatory myopathies.  The NINDS and NIAMS are funding DNA analyses using microarrays to characterize patterns of muscle gene expression among adult and juvenile individuals with distinct subtypes of inflammatory myopathies.  Findings will be used to refine disease classification and provide clues to the pathology of these disorders.  Other NIH-funded research is studying prior viral infection as a precursor to inflammatory myopathy.  Other research hopes to determine whether the drug infliximab, which blocks a protein that is associated with harmful inflammation, is safe and effective in treating dermatomyositis and polymyositis.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Myositis

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Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

The inflammatory myopathies are a group of diseases, with no known cause, that involve chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness.  The three main types of chronic, or persistent, inflammatory myopathy are polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and inclusion body myositis (IBM).  These rare disorders may affect both adults and children, although dermatomyositis is more common in children.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are more common in women than in men.  General symptoms of chronic inflammatory myopathy include slow but progressive muscle weakness that starts in the proximal muscles—those muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue after walking or standing, tripping or falling, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.  Some patients may have slight muscle pain or muscles that are tender to the touch.  Polymyositis affects skeletal muscles (involved with making movement) on both sides of the body.  Dermatomyositis is characterized by a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness.  IBM is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting.  Juvenile myositis has some similarities to adult dermatomyositis and polymyositis. 

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Definition

The inflammatory myopathies are a group of diseases, with no known cause, that involve chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness.  The three main types of chronic, or persistent, inflammatory myopathy are polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and inclusion body myositis (IBM).  These rare disorders may affect both adults and children, although dermatomyositis is more common in children.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are more common in women than in men.  General symptoms of chronic inflammatory myopathy include slow but progressive muscle weakness that starts in the proximal muscles—those muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue after walking or standing, tripping or falling, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.  Some patients may have slight muscle pain or muscles that are tender to the touch.  Polymyositis affects skeletal muscles (involved with making movement) on both sides of the body.  Dermatomyositis is characterized by a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness.  IBM is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting.  Juvenile myositis has some similarities to adult dermatomyositis and polymyositis. 

Treatment
Treatment

The chronic inflammatory myopathies can’t be cured in most adults but many of the symptoms can be treated.  Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are first treated with high doses of prednisone or another corticosteroid drug.  This is most often given as an oral medication but can be delivered intravenously.  Immunosuppressant drugs, such as azathioprine and methotrexate, may reduce inflammation in people who do not respond well to prednisone. IBM has no standard course of treatment.  The disease is generally unresponsive to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.

×
Treatment

The chronic inflammatory myopathies can’t be cured in most adults but many of the symptoms can be treated.  Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are first treated with high doses of prednisone or another corticosteroid drug.  This is most often given as an oral medication but can be delivered intravenously.  Immunosuppressant drugs, such as azathioprine and methotrexate, may reduce inflammation in people who do not respond well to prednisone. IBM has no standard course of treatment.  The disease is generally unresponsive to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.

Definition
Definition

The inflammatory myopathies are a group of diseases, with no known cause, that involve chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness.  The three main types of chronic, or persistent, inflammatory myopathy are polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and inclusion body myositis (IBM).  These rare disorders may affect both adults and children, although dermatomyositis is more common in children.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are more common in women than in men.  General symptoms of chronic inflammatory myopathy include slow but progressive muscle weakness that starts in the proximal muscles—those muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue after walking or standing, tripping or falling, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.  Some patients may have slight muscle pain or muscles that are tender to the touch.  Polymyositis affects skeletal muscles (involved with making movement) on both sides of the body.  Dermatomyositis is characterized by a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness.  IBM is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting.  Juvenile myositis has some similarities to adult dermatomyositis and polymyositis. 

Treatment
Treatment

The chronic inflammatory myopathies can’t be cured in most adults but many of the symptoms can be treated.  Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are first treated with high doses of prednisone or another corticosteroid drug.  This is most often given as an oral medication but can be delivered intravenously.  Immunosuppressant drugs, such as azathioprine and methotrexate, may reduce inflammation in people who do not respond well to prednisone. IBM has no standard course of treatment.  The disease is generally unresponsive to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.

Prognosis
Prognosis

Most cases of dermatomyositis respond to therapy.  The prognosis for polymyositis varies.  Most individuals respond fairly well to therapy, but some people have a more severe disease that does not respond adequately to therapies and are left with significant disability.  IBM is generally resistant to all therapies and its rate of progression appears to be unaffected by currently available treatments. 

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Most cases of dermatomyositis respond to therapy.  The prognosis for polymyositis varies.  Most individuals respond fairly well to therapy, but some people have a more severe disease that does not respond adequately to therapies and are left with significant disability.  IBM is generally resistant to all therapies and its rate of progression appears to be unaffected by currently available treatments. 

Prognosis
Prognosis

Most cases of dermatomyositis respond to therapy.  The prognosis for polymyositis varies.  Most individuals respond fairly well to therapy, but some people have a more severe disease that does not respond adequately to therapies and are left with significant disability.  IBM is generally resistant to all therapies and its rate of progression appears to be unaffected by currently available treatments. 

Definition

The inflammatory myopathies are a group of diseases, with no known cause, that involve chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness.  The three main types of chronic, or persistent, inflammatory myopathy are polymyositis, dermatomyositis, and inclusion body myositis (IBM).  These rare disorders may affect both adults and children, although dermatomyositis is more common in children.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are more common in women than in men.  General symptoms of chronic inflammatory myopathy include slow but progressive muscle weakness that starts in the proximal muscles—those muscles closest to the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include fatigue after walking or standing, tripping or falling, and difficulty swallowing or breathing.  Some patients may have slight muscle pain or muscles that are tender to the touch.  Polymyositis affects skeletal muscles (involved with making movement) on both sides of the body.  Dermatomyositis is characterized by a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness.  IBM is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting.  Juvenile myositis has some similarities to adult dermatomyositis and polymyositis. 

Treatment

The chronic inflammatory myopathies can’t be cured in most adults but many of the symptoms can be treated.  Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest.  Polymyositis and dermatomyositis are first treated with high doses of prednisone or another corticosteroid drug.  This is most often given as an oral medication but can be delivered intravenously.  Immunosuppressant drugs, such as azathioprine and methotrexate, may reduce inflammation in people who do not respond well to prednisone. IBM has no standard course of treatment.  The disease is generally unresponsive to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs.

Prognosis

Most cases of dermatomyositis respond to therapy.  The prognosis for polymyositis varies.  Most individuals respond fairly well to therapy, but some people have a more severe disease that does not respond adequately to therapies and are left with significant disability.  IBM is generally resistant to all therapies and its rate of progression appears to be unaffected by currently available treatments. 

What research is being done?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the collaborative efforts of its National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), conducts and supports a wide range of research on neuromuscular disorders, including the inflammatory myopathies.  The NINDS and NIAMS are funding DNA analyses using microarrays to characterize patterns of muscle gene expression among adult and juvenile individuals with distinct subtypes of inflammatory myopathies.  Findings will be used to refine disease classification and provide clues to the pathology of these disorders.  Other NIH-funded research is studying prior viral infection as a precursor to inflammatory myopathy.  Other research hopes to determine whether the drug infliximab, which blocks a protein that is associated with harmful inflammation, is safe and effective in treating dermatomyositis and polymyositis.

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Myositis

Patient Organizations
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe
MI
Eastpointe, MI 48021-2227
Tel: 586-776-3900; 800-598-4668
Arthritis Foundation
P.O. Box 7669
Atlanta
GA
Atlanta, GA 30357
Tel: 800-283-7800; 404-872-7100; 404-965-7888
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Office - 222 S. Riverside Plaza
Suite 1500
Chicago
IL
Chicago, IL 60606
Tel: 800-572-1717
Myositis Association
1737 King Street
Suite 600
Alexandria
VA
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: 703-299-4850; 800-821-7356
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda
MD
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Tel: 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267); 301-565-2966 (TTY)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Institutes of Health, DHHS
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park
NC
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Tel: 919-541-3345
Publications

Polymyositis information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Inclusion Body Myositis (Inflammatory Myopathy) information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Dermatomyositis information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Patient Organizations