Inclusion body myositis (IBM) is one of a group of muscle diseases known as the inflammatory myopathies. The characteristic of the condition is chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness. The onset of muscle weakness in IBM is generally gradual (over months or years) and affects both proximal (close to the trunk of the body) and distal (further away from the trunk) muscles.
One may experience muscle weakness may in one side of the body. The notable symptoms of IBM are falling and tripping. For some individuals, the disorder begins with weakness in the wrists and fingers which makes it difficult for one to pinch, button or grip. There may be weakness of the wrist and finger muscles, atrophy (thinning or loss of muscle bulk) of the forearm muscles and quadricep muscles in the legs. Some may also experience swallowing difficulty. Symptoms of the disease usually begin after the age of 50, although the disease can occur earlier.
As of now, there is no cure for IBM, nor is there a standard course of treatment. 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 mobility. Other therapies that can help deal with the condition are symptomatic and supportive.
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