Polymyositis (PM)

MDA Awards $8.5 Million to 31 Neuromuscular Disease Research Projects

In its summer 2013 round of research grant awards, the Muscular Dystrophy Association aims to catalyze research progress in a dozen neuromuscular diseases, with an eye toward applying that knowledge to related muscle diseases, as well.

“A large number of our grants are investigating new therapeutic technologies,” notes Jane Larkindale, MDA's vice president of research. “These are 'platform' technologies, where successes can be transferred well beyond the specific disease in which they are developed and tested.”

‘Focused, Intense’ MDA Conference Advances Neuromuscular Disease Research

Turning neuromuscular disease research into treatments as quickly and effectively as possible was the overarching theme of dozens of formal presentations, nearly 200 scientific posters, and countless informal conversations at the MDA Scientific Conference, April 21-24.

A palpable sense of excitement pervaded the sold-out event thanks to the unprecedented number of experimental treatments in clinical trials for neuromuscular diseases, and the unique opportunity the conference provided for information-sharing and collaboration among scientific professionals from many disciplines.

Jim Heller

2012
Full name: 
Mr. Jim Heller
Artist: 
Jim Heller
Medium: 
Watercolor

AAN Releases Guidelines for IVIG in Some Neuromuscular Diseases

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has released new guidelines on the use of a treatment called intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) in various neuromuscular disorders.

Murray Bullock

Location

Mansfield, OH

Murray took up painting later in life and employed an unusual method. Resting his forearms against his legs, he grasped the brush with two hands and moved his legs from side to side.

Full name: 
Murray Bullock
Artist: 
Murray Bullock
Medium: 
Oil

Luis Baez

Location

Washington, DC

Luis was an information analyst and enjoyed photography, computer graphics and working in mosaics. This artwork, originally a photograph taken during a trip to Puerto Rico, combines several techniques to achieve the finished product. Luis was a member of the MDA National Task Force on Public Awareness and received MDA’s Personal Achievement Award for the District of Columbia in 1998 and 2001.

Full name: 
Luis Baez
Artist: 
Luis Baez
Medium: 
Mixed Media

Clinical Trials

About clinical trials

A clinical trial is a test in humans of an experimental medication or therapy. Clinical trials are experiments, not treatments, and participation requires careful consideration.

Although it's possible to benefit from participating in a clinical trial, it's also possible that no benefit — or even harm — may occur. Keep your MDA clinic doctor informed about any clinical trial participation. (Note that MDA has no ability to influence who is chosen to participate in a clinical trial.)

Research

MDA-supported scientists are studying the underlying mechanisms that cause inflammatory myopathies, the group of diseases to which polymyositis (PM) belongs. Understanding precisely why and how the immune system attacks muscle tissue in PM will likely lead to better treatments for the disease.

One research team is studying inflammatory myopathies in dogs. These diseases appear to be similar in dogs and humans, and it is believed that this project may generate deeper understanding of human PM, and lead to new tools for diagnosis and treatment.

Medical Management

Polymyositis (PM) is a highly treatable disease. Some people recover completely, while others experience greatly diminished symptoms for long periods of time. Several years of treatment to suppress the immune system may be necessary to achieve these results.

Those who don’t recover completely may need to continue on at least a low dose of medication to control the autoimmune attack of PM throughout their lives.

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