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We summarize the current therapeutic strategies and options in inflammatory myositis and the muscular dystrophies. In myositis, the therapeutic options include basic therapy with glucocorticosteroids and other standard immunosuppressive agents, and in individual cases escalating treatment with chemotherapy or monoclonal antibodies. The exact therapeutic sequence should be performed depending on the type of myositis and the response to immunosuppression.At present, there are still no effective causative interventions to significantly alter the progression of the muscular dystrophies. However, first gene therapy clinical studies have been started in some forms of muscular dystrophy which may open a new field of therapeutic options.Most patients with myositis or muscular dystrophy need symptom-oriented therapies which include physical therapy, adequate cardiorespiratory treatment and orthopedic interventions. In the future novel immunosuppressive options may be available in patients with myositis and possibly causative strategies in the muscular dystrophies.
Abteilung Neurologie, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Göttingen, Deutschland.
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