Unlike many diseases covered by MDA, there are effective treatments available for two of the three inflammatory myopathies — polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM). MDA-funded research helped to determine that these diseases are caused by an immune response produced by the patient’s own body, which causes inflammation.
Based on this knowledge, researchers then tested anti-inflammatory drugs (such as corticosteroids) and immunosuppressant drugs in patients with these diseases. These treatments have been proven effective in most cases. New research is rapidly leading to increased understanding of these disorders and more successful treatments for them.