Researchers supported by MDA are studying the underlying mechanisms that cause inflammatory myopathies, the group of diseases to which inclusion-body myositis (IBM) belongs.
One research team studying the mechanisms of muscle destruction in IBM-affected muscle fibers is building on recent observations that two proteins are abnormally elevated in these fibers. One is called myostatin, which limits muscle growth; and the other is called NF kappa B, which is known to play a role in inflammation.
Another MDA-supported group of investigators has been looking at using antibodies (proteins made by the immune system) to target abnormal clumps of cellular material in IBM-affected muscle.
Other MDA researchers are studying inflammatory myopathies in dogs, with an eye to developing new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases in humans.
Gene therapy (the insertion of a therapeutic gene) is being investigated for one of the hereditary IBM forms.
In addition, there are several ongoing and completed clinical trials of medications to treat IBM.