Patients with a rheumatic disease are at a higher risk for infection due to their disease or medications. Dr. Chris Mecoli from the Division of Rheumatology speaks with Dr. Erika Darrah about steps a patient could take in order to prevent infections.
Dermatomyositis Disease Overview
Dermatomyositis is a rare autoimmune myopathy disease that targets the muscles and skin. Dermatomyositis causes a characteristic skin rash on the chest, back, or arms that looks like a sunburn. It also causes muscle weakness so severe that it can be hard for some patients to do everyday things such as climbing a flight of stairs, standing up from a chair or bed, and even combing their hair. In this video series, Dr. Eleni Tiniakou, a physician at the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, explores the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for Dermatomyositis.
Dermatomyositis Signs & Symptoms
A common complication in any of the rheumatic diseases is Reynaud’s disease, and Dermatomyositis is no different. Dermatomyositis presents symptoms in many ways; however, the most common signs are skin, muscle, and lung issues. The skin usually presents a rash (like a sunburn) that doesn’t go away, there is progressive muscle weakness, and lung inflammation that causes extreme shortness of breath. In this video series, Dr. Eleni Tiniakou, a physician at the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, explains the common symptoms of Dermatomyositis.
The enzymes that indicate Dermatomyositis also indicate liver disease, which is much more common. Most doctors will perform a liver biopsy that shows everything is normal. Then, they will look at the enzymes in the muscle and see that there is a problem. In this video series, Dr. Eleni Tiniakou, a physician at the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, discusses the process of diagnosing Dermatomyositis.
The goal of treatment in Dermatomyositis is to bring down the immune system so that it stops attacking the healthy tissues in the muscle. There are many side effects of the medication, Prednisone, that is used to treat myositis diseases, so the patient won’t stay on it for long. Scientists and doctors are still looking for alternative medicines that are more effective and less harmful. In this video series, Dr. Eleni Tiniakou, a physician at the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, explains the treatment options for Dermatomyositis.
Dermatomyositis Lifestyle Options
Exercising, avoiding the sun, and maintaining a relatively stress-free lifestyle are three ways to stay healthy and avoid flares. In the last episode of this five-part video series, Dr. Eleni Tiniakou, a physician at the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center, explains the steps to living a normal life after a Dermatomyositis diagnosis.
Polymyositis – Overview
Polymyositis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the muscles. It’s also commonly paired with other rheumatic diseases such as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus. In this video, Dr. Lisa Christopher-Stine, the Director of the Myositis Center, explains the basics of polymyositis.
Antisynthetase Syndrome Disease Overview
Antisynthetase Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that is a subcategory of Myositis, which means muscle disease. There are many different areas that Antisynthetase Syndrome affects, however, a few common ones are the muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, and joint pain. In this episode, Dr. Christopher Mecoli, a physician in the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology, digs into the complicated nature of Antisynthetase Syndrome.
Polymyositis – Signs & Symptoms
Antisynthetase Syndrome Signs & Symptoms
While the symptoms of Antisynthetase Syndrome vary greatly from patient to patient, the most common symptoms are muscle weakness, joint pain, and lung inflammation. Because of the varying symptoms of this disease, it is advised for patients to have frequent follow ups with their Rheumatologist. In this episode, Dr. Christopher Mecoli, a physician in the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology, explains the signs and symptoms a patient may display with Antisynthetase Syndrome.
Polymyoisitis – Diagnosis
Diagnosing polymyositis is a step by step process. The physician will start by doing a physical exam to assess their strength, followed by blood tests, an EMG, and a muscle biopsy. In this video, Dr. Lisa Christopher-Stine, the Director of the Myositis Center, discusses how polymyositis is diagnosed.
Antisynthetase Syndrome Diagnosis
Because patients present with Antisynthetase Syndrome very differently, a diagnosis is often hard to make. The antibodies that a patient makes is necessary to know to diagnose and treat Antisynthetase properly, so a lot of testing is involved. In this episode, Dr. Christopher Mecoli, a physician in the Johns Hopkins Division of Rheumatology, discusses the way a patient is diagnosed with Antisynthetase Syndrome.