What causes polymyositis?

The exact cause of polymyositis is unknown. The disease is thought to be related to problems with the immune system, and the disease shares many similarities with autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy body tissues. It appears that the cells of the muscles (muscle fibers) of individuals with polymyositis are not protected from the body’s immune system. Therefore, the immune system can attack the muscle fibers, which causes them to become damaged, inflamed, and weakened.

For some people, symptoms of polymyositis may be associated with connective tissue disorders, viral infections such as HIV- AIDS, other autoimmune diseases, or diseases that affect the ability to breathe. This means that individuals who have any of these diseases are at a higher risk to develop polymyositis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How is polymyositis diagnosed?

A diagnosis of polymyositis is often suspected in people with proximal muscle weakness and other signs and symptoms associated with the disease. Additional testing can then be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other diseases that may cause similar features. The testing may include:

Last updated on 05-01-20

Is polymyositis inherited?

Changes (mutations) in a specific gene are not known to cause polymyositis. In general, autoimmune diseases are thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, multiple people in the same family may be affected by an autoimmune disease. Therefore, it is possible for people with polymyositis to have other family members affected by the disease or by other autoimmune diseases.

Last updated on 05-01-20

What is the long-term outlook for people with polymyositis?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for people affected by polymyositis varies. Most affected people respond well to treatment and regain muscle strength, although a certain degree of muscle weakness may persist in some cases. In most cases, polymyositis is not life-threatening, and many people recover partially or completely from the disease. People who recover from polymyositis after treatment may be at risk of a recurrence of symptoms.

If the treatment for polymyositis is not effective, affected individuals may develop significant disability. In rare cases, people with severe and progressive muscle weakness may develop respiratory failure or pneumonia. Difficulty swallowing may cause weight loss and malnutrition. Individuals with polymyositis may be more likely to develop other autoimmune diseases, cancer, or osteoporosis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

How might polymyositis be treated?

The treatment of polymyositis is based on the signs and symptoms present in each person. Although there is currently no cure, symptoms of the disease may be managed with the following:

Mescape Reference offers more specific information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of polymyositis.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: Arthritis Foundation 1355 Peachtree St. NE 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA, 30309, United States
Phone: +1-404-872-7100 Toll Free: 1-844-571-HELP (4357) Url: https://www.arthritis.org
Name: The Myositis Association TMA 1940 Duke Street Suite 200
Alexandria, VA, 22314, United States
Phone: +1-703-299-4850 Toll Free: 1-800-821-7356 Fax : +1-703-535-6752 Email: TMA@myositis.org Url: https://www.myositis.org/
Name: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) 22100 Gratiot Avenue
Eastpointe, MI, 48021, United States
Phone: 586-776-3900 Toll Free: 800-598-4668 Fax : 586-776-3903 Email: aarda@aarda.org Url: https://www.aarda.org/
Name: Muscular Dystrophy Association MDA 222 S Riverside Plaza Suite 1500
Chicago, IL, 60606, United States
Toll Free: 1-833-275-6321 (Helpline) Email: resourcecenter@mdausa.org Url: https://www.mda.org
Name: Myositis Support and Understanding 9125 N. Old State Road
Lincoln, DE, 19960, United States
Phone: +1-302-339-3241 Toll Free: 1-888-MYO-RARE (696-7273) Email: info@UnderstandingMyositis.org Url: https://understandingmyositis.org/
Name: Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis Patients Facebook Support Group Url: https://www.facebook.com/groups/201461863232077/

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