What is Inclusion Body Myositis?
Inclusion Body Myositis belongs to the group of inflammatory myopathies. Inflammatory myopathies are a group of muscle disorders in which there is inflammation of the muscles and other associated tissues.1 Myopathy develops basically due to inflammation caused by cell damage. In Inclusion Body Myositis, the inflammatory cells invade the muscle tissues resulting in muscle degeneration. In some cases, there is no major inflammation occurring and hence in such cases the disorder is termed as Inclusion Body Myopathy. This is normally in genetic cases of Inclusion Body Myositis.
What are the Causes of Inclusion Body Myositis?
The cause for Inclusion Body Myositis is not yet known, but for some unclear reason the body’s immune system attacks its own muscles and damages the muscle tissues. The cause as to why gradual degeneration of the muscle occurs in Inclusion Body Myositis is also unclear as of yet. Genetic forms of Inclusion Body Myositis can be both autosomal dominant as well as autosomal recessive.
What are the Symptoms of Inclusion Body Myositis?
Some of the symptoms of Inclusion Body Myositis are:
- Gradually progressive muscle weakness 2
- Specific weakness in the thighs, wrists, and fingers
- History of frequent falling episodes due to weakness in the lower extremity muscles.
How is Inclusion Body Myositis Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose Inclusion Body Myositis, the treating physician will ask the patient for a detailed history including the family history of the patient to see if there is any history of a muscle disorder in the family. This will be followed by a detailed physical examination along with a neurological examination in which the doctor will check the strength of the muscles, especially in the upper and lower extremities. If Inclusion Body Myositis is suspected, then further tests may be ordered to include a muscle biopsy. This muscle biopsy will confirmatively diagnose Inclusion Body Myositis.
How is Inclusion Body Myositis Treated?
As of now, there is no treatment for Inclusion Body Myositis.2 Normally, in a patient who has Inclusion Body Myositis corticosteroids are given to help with muscle strength but the condition is such that even these are not significantly effective. Apart from this, immunosuppressive medications may also be given but even they have not proven to be overly effective in treatment of Inclusion Body Myositis. In some cases of Inclusion Body Myositis, IVIG or intravenous immunoglobulin has shown some efficacy in treating this condition but the effects have been very short lasting. Physical therapy is often recommended to maintain some sort of strength and mobility in the muscles which become gradually weak due to progression of Inclusion Body Myositis.
What is the Prognosis of Inclusion Body Myositis?
The long term prognosis of Inclusion Body Myositis is not good as the disease is unresponsive to the current treatment available. Inclusion Body Myositis is a progressive disease condition and gradually the individual starts to lose muscle strength and mass impairing his or her mobility and affects the daily life of the individual suffering from Inclusion Body Myositis.