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Dermatomyositis is one of a group of acquired muscle diseases called inflammatory myopathies (disorder of muscle tissue or muscles), which are characterized by chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness. The cardinal symptom is a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness. Dermatomyositis may occur at any age, but is most common in adults in their late 40s to early 60s, or children between 5 and 15 years of age. There is no cure for dermatomyositis, but the symptoms can be treated. Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest. The cause of dermatomyositis is unknown.
- NINDS Dermatomyositis Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dermatomyositis/dermatomyositis.htm. Accessed July 1, 2011.
- Dermatomyositis. MayoClinic.com. http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/dermatomyositis/DS00335/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Accessed July 1, 2011.
- Moskowitz RJ. Dermatomyositis. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000839.htm. Accessed July 1, 2011.
- MayoClinic.com provides information about dermatomyositis. Click on the link above to access this information.
- MedlinePlus, a Web site designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, provides more information about this topic. Click on the link to view this information.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) offers printed materials on this topic. We recommend calling toll-free at 877-226-4267 to request a copy of this information.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge. Click on the link to read information on this topic.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Dermatomyositis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Selected Full-Text Journal Articles
- Koler RA, Montemarano A. Dermatomyositis. American Family Physician. 2001; 64: 1565-72. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20011101/1565.html. Accessed November 4, 2009.