Understanding juvenile polymyositis
Juvenile Polymyositis (JPM) is one of the two Juvenile Myositis (JM) conditions that are classified under muscular dystrophy. Like other forms of muscular dystrophy, JPM is a neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by muscle weakness, which progressively gets worse over time.
On average, the age of onset is six or seven years old, although some kids are diagnosed as early as 4. Even when JPM continues to adulthood, the condition is still classified as juvenile in form. In the US, 2-4 children out of a million contract the disease. However, the number is seen to increase every year.
JPM has a genetic predisposition. This means that if a close family member has it, anyone may carry over the disorder to the next generation. Most often, those whose family line suffers from other autoimmune disorders, like diabetes, arthritis, lupus, or thyroid, are more likely to pass it on.