Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM)
IBM Symptoms | Causes of IBM | IBM
Treatment | IBM Cure | IBM
Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is an inflammatory muscle disease characterized
by progressive muscle weakness that affects both proximal (closest to the
center of the body) and distal (farthest from the center of the body) muscles.
It is a very slow progressive disease that typically is seen more in men
after 50 years of age.
Most commonly the disease begins in the quadriceps muscles. This will
cause difficulty getting up out of a chair or climbing stairs. It can
also affect muscle of the hand early on, and this will lead to difficulty
gripping things or opening jars. As the disease progresses it will cause
weakness in all muscle groups. Late in the course of the disease, one
possible symptom is difficulty swallowing. IBM generally does not cause
pain; however, with weakness and immobility there can often be secondary
Vacuoles within muscle fiber
There are multiple causes for muscle weakness and therefore the diagnosis
of IBM is often delayed by some period of time. Patients with IBM will
usually be suspected when they have slowly progressive muscle weakness
associated with elevated levels of muscles enzymes seen on blood tests.
These tests can be either an elevated creatinine phosphokinase (CPK)
or an elevated aldolase. In addition EMG/ Nerve Conduction Studies will
reveal evidence for a muscle disease. The specific diagnosis, however,
cannot be made without a muscle biopsy. This is very important because
IBM can look like polymyositis or even adult onset muscular dystrophies.
Therefore all patients should have a muscle biopsy. Unfortunately at
present there is no known cause for this disease.
There is no known effective therapy for IBM. The primary issue in terms
of caring for patients with IBM is to try to manage their weakness. This
may mean getting some assistive devices to help with doing things with
their hands or providing walkers or scooters if walking becomes difficult.
As there is no known cause for Inclusion Body Myositis, there is at
present no effective cures or treatments for this disease. There is
extensive research into IBM and it is hopeful that within a few years
we will have some therapy for this disease.
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