More Research is Needed for Myositis Specific Treatments

Lisa Christopher-Stine is the Director of the Myositis Center at Johns Hopkins. She recently shared her biggest tips for patient care and some updates from the field, hoping to change the way myositis is approached in the clinic.

  1. Treat the Patient. It seems obvious, but not all physicians think about the fact that every patient is different. They treat the level of creatinine kinase in the body and pay attention to nothing else. For example, if a patient has had huge improvements in their muscular strength, the doctor shouldn’t solely be relying on the creatinine kinase level to make their decisions about prescriptions.
  2. Not every dermatomyositis patient who has a normal amount of creatinine kinase is myopathic.
  3. Different formulations of IV immunoglobulin work differently: If a patient isn’t responding, you may just need to switch brands.
  4. Exercise is important for patients! It should be done under the guidance of a physical therapist but it is so important for health, fighting inflammation, and fighting atrophy.
  5. Research is in the works regarding myositis specific antibodies.
  6. Clinical trials are still making headway for new treatments and there’s reason to have hope.
  7. There are new treatments specifically for inclusion body myositis (IBM) being studied.

As it is now, myositis is extremely understudied. The go to treatment is glucocorticoids. But everyone knows that glucocorticoids have a risk of toxicity. However, they’re still the first treatment option because they’ve been shown to lower the creatinine kinase levels in the body. The standard dose of steroids for myositis patients is taken from what’s used in other forms of rheumatic diseases because its so understudied for this specific condition. What if there could be something better for these patients that has fewer risks?

More research specifically for myositis is needed, and it’s coming, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

You can read more about these updates here.

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