Inclusion body myositis is a group of inflammatory muscle diseases which are characterized by chronic, progressive muscle inflammation and muscle weakness. The onset of muscle weakness in IBM is generally gradual and affects both proximal and distal muscles. Muscle weakness may affect only one side of the body.
Some of the noticeable symptoms of IBM include falling and tripping. Some people may have weakness in the wrists and fingers that causes difficulty with pinching, buttoning, and gripping objects. Weakness of the wrist and finger muscles and atrophy of the forearm muscles and quadricep muscles in the legs are some others signs of IBM.
Difficulty in swallowing is quite common in IBM. Appearance of symptoms of the disease usually begins after the age of 5 but it can affect at any age. IBM occurs more frequently in men than in women.
There is no cure for IBM yet. The disease is generally unresponsive to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs. Some evidence suggests that intravenous immunoglobulin may have a slight, but short-lasting, beneficial effect in a small number of cases. Physical therapy may be helpful in maintaining the mobility.
IBM is generally resistant to all therapies and its rate of progression appears to be unaffected by currently available treatments. There tends to be very slow progression but those who develop symptoms at an older age tend to progress more rapidly.
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