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Inclusion Body Myositis (IBM) is classified as a chronic, degenerative neuromuscular disease in which inflammatory cells invade muscle tissue causing progressive muscle weakness and wasting. IBM differs from other types of Myositis in that there is currently no known effective treatment for the disease.
IBM is known to cause slow, progressive asymmetrical weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the wrists and fingers, muscles in the front of the thigh, and muscles that lift the front of the foot. Patients who have the disease can gradually lose the ability to walk, experience falls and injuries, lose hand function, and have swallowing difficulties. Some patients also experience muscle pain.
The first muscles affected in Inclusion Body Myositis are usually those of the wrists and fingers, and the muscles at the front of the thigh. The muscles that lift the front of the foot also may be affected (see image to the right).
Muscle weakness is often asymmetrical, more prominent on one side than the other.
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