Inclusion-body myositis or IBM refers to a type of inflammatory myopathies, which is a group of muscle diseases that involves the inflammation of muscles or associated tissues such as those blood vessels that supply the muscles. Myopathy refers to a muscle disease in which inflammation occurs as a response to cell damage.
Inclusion-body myositis tends to mostly affect men compared with women, though women can get affected. It usually starts in those people who are older than the age of 50 years. IBM tends to start gradually and slowly progresses the weakness in the muscles of the wrist as well as fingers as well as those muscles that are located at the front of the thigh. The muscles that are used to lift the front of the foot can also get affected and the weakness that comes with the disease may not be experienced equally on both sides of the body.
The patient may experience trouble with gripping such as when trying to hold a heavy bag or briefcase. They may also have to deal with frequent stumbles as well. At least a third of the people suffering from IBM experiences some amount of weakness in their swallowing muscles. The heart and lung involvement that is usually seen in inflammatory myopathies such as polymyositis and dermatomyositis is not part of IBM.
Because IBM is a slow and progressive disease, the life expectancy of a person does not really get affected by the disease. Most people suffering from IBM tend to be able to walk, though they may need a cane or wheelchair to travel long distances. Some patients may be profoundly affected and may require a wheelchair full time within 10 or 15 years of the beginning of the symptoms.
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