Dermatomyositis and Polymyositis are part of a group of inflammatory conditions that typically cause swelling and a loss of muscle. Dermatomyositis affects muscle and skin, whereas Polymyositis essentially affects muscle only. These conditions affect nearly 75,000 people in the United States and can develop at any age, though typically between 40 and 50. Women are twice as likely as men to be affected. Although no cure has yet been found for either disorder, patients and their physicians can succeed in managing these conditions through carefully tailored regimens involving medications, exercise and rest. And clinical trials of new therapeutic agents are underway that could lead to even more effective treatment options in the future. (3403)
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