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glossary:juvenile_dermatomyositis [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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|+||Juvenile dermatomyositis (der-MA-toe-MY-o-SY-tis) (JDMS) is a relatively rare disease that causes a [[skin]] rash and weak muscles in children. JDMS is different from dermatomyositis in adults, and from polymyositis, a [[disease]] that usually affects adults.|
|+||The [[skin]] rash and weak muscles of JDMS are caused by [[inflammation]] in the blood vessels that lie under the skin and in the muscles. This is called vasculitis. Since [[blood vessels]] run throughout the body, JDMS can also affect other areas such as the digestive tract. Usually, the worst symptoms are in the skin and muscles.|
|+||JDMS is often called an [[autoimmune disease]]. The [[immune system]] is a group of cells which normally protects the body from [[infection]]s. In autoimmune diseases, these cells are signaled to "turn on" their infection-fighting process, but then can't turn it off. The process then ends up damaging the body rather than protecting it.|
|+||One way the [[immune system]] cells fight infection is by a process called inflammation. But when the cells can't "turn off" the [[inflammation]] process, tissues are damaged. In JDMS, blood vessels in the [[skin]] and muscles are inflamed. An inflamed muscle will feel weak or sore, while inflamed [[skin]] will have a rash.|