Researchers from Sweden at the national meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in 2007 reported their findings that T-cells of the immune system in some polymyositis or dermatomyositis patients reacted against cytomegalovirus (CMV) and that detectable antibodies against CMV were present. Their conclusion was that there may be subsets of patients who develop their disease, in part, because of infection with this particular virus.
Aside from diseases with which polymyositis can be associated (as mentioned above), many other diseases and conditions can mimic polymyositis. These include nerve-muscle diseases (such as muscular dystrophies), drug toxins (such as alcohol, cocaine, steroids, colchicine, hydroxychloroquine, and cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins), metabolic disorders (where muscle cells are unable to process chemicals normally), hormone disorders (such as abnormal thyroid), calcium and magnesium conditions, and infectious diseases (such as influenza virus, AIDS, streptococcus and Lyme bacteria, pork tapeworm and schistosomiasis).(http://www.medicinenet.com/polymyositis/article.htm)
Aimee Boyle is a freelance writer, teacher and mother in Connecticut. She enjoys spending time with her sons making pancakes, teaching them guitar, singing Beatles songs, playing with the dog and learning how to stay organized. It's a work in progress.