About Polymyositis

"Polymyositis is a disease of muscle featuring inflammation of the muscle fibers. The cause of the disease is not known. It begins when white blood cells, the immune cells of inflammation, spontaneously invade muscles. The muscles affected are typically those closest to the trunk or torso. This results in weakness that can be severe. Polymyositis is a chronic illness with periods of increased symptoms, called flares or relapses, and minimal or no symptoms, known as remissions. Polymyositis is slightly more common in females. It affects all age groups, although its onset is most common in middle childhood and in the 20s. Polymyositis occurs throughout the world. Polymyositis can be associated with skin rash and is then referred to as "dermatomyositis." It also can affect other areas of the body and is, therefore, referred to as a systemic illness. Occasionally, it is associated with cancer or with other diseases of connective tissue (see systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis)." From Medicine Net www.medicinenet.com

"Polymyositis is an uncommon connective tissue disease. It's a type of inflammatory myopathy, which is characterized by muscle inflammation and weakness. The most noticeable characteristic of polymyositis is weakness of the skeletal muscles, which control movement. Polymyositis can occur at any age, but it mostly affects adults sometime between their 30s and 50s. It's more common in blacks than in whites, and women are affected more often than men are. Polymyositis signs and symptoms usually develop gradually, over weeks or months.Periods of remission in polymyositis, during which symptoms improve spontaneously, rarely occur. However, treatment can improve your muscle strength and function." From CNN Health Library http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/polymyositis/DS00334.html

Links to Learn More About Polymyositis

MERCK Manual http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec05/ch068/ch068e.html

Arthritis Society Canada http://www.arthritis.ca/types%20of%20arthritis/polymyositis/default.asp?s=1&province=mb

Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polymyositis/DS00334