Why is our approach different?
Have you read that the medical society is not in agreement whether Inclusion Body Myositis is primarily a degenerative disorder or autoimmune disease? Some insist there should be an exact genetic failure that determines the death of muscles, while others claim your muscle deterioration is a consequence of autoimmune activity.
Lymphatech team belongs to the second group and believes that IBM patients lose muscle strength because of the immune system and other contributing factors. And we are not alone (read links at the bottom). Without the aggressive immune response even if there is a dystrophic change in the muscle a patient would not lose strength that fast.
The immune system does not like your muscle cells (whether they are healthy or not) and attacks them. In most cases, it starts with finger flexor and knee extensor weakness so people lose the grip and can not get up from the chair. Though it does not happen fast, it affects life so it is no longer the same.
We also do not like to patiently wait for the big pharma to spend years discovering and clinically proving the ‘magic’ drug. However, we do want them to succeed and make the life of myositis patients easier.
Treatment Program In a Nutshell
And while we all hope for it, Lymphatech developed a rehab program that can slow down the disease and increase your muscle strength. We used the inheritance of Soviet and Russian schools for lymphology, immunology, and neurology as a basement for our treatment approach. Yes, forget about what you know about the lymphatic system.
The key idea of our rehab program is to tame the immune aggressiveness, ‘clean’ the muscles, and work on their strength while the disease is inactive.
This is what we do for it:
- Clean paracellular spaces from metabolic wastes
- Enhance drainage function of the lymphatic system
- Suppress the inflammation in the muscles with locally applied drugs
- Rebalance the immune system with immunotropic therapy
- Engage muscle tissues in the pharynx, arms, and legs through transcranial magnetic stimulation
- Gradually introduce remedial physiotherapy for affected muscle segments and grow their strength
We also conduct a thorough diagnostic program to identify or treat any other pathology that contributes to muscle weakness, e.g. atherosclerosis that decreases supply to the muscles, degenerative changes in brain tissue that reduce the effectiveness of motor neurons; decreased conductivity in the spinal cord.
There are of course limitations
To summarize, we target pathogenetic mechanisms of the development of the disease. Therefore, we do not name this treatment program as a cure for IBM but a rehab program
How do we measure the results of treatment?
It is interesting that all measurements for muscle strength were designed to track the progression of the disease and not regression of it.
So we chose the following to track how our IBM patients are doing
- Levels of inflammatory markers in the blood (e.g. CPK)
- Oxford scale for muscle strength
- Measurements of limb volume
- Measurements of muscle strength by push-pull dynamometry
- Certain moves a person could not do before the treatment (e.g. grind pepper in the very same mill, hold a glass with one hand)
- Subjective feelings by a patient
We plan to introduce control biopsy tests and a control MRI of the limb when we reach a certain surveillance period.
No, we have not published the results yet. We are now working on the article with our board of professors and if you believe you have the credibility to do a preliminary peer review for it just let us know.
Subscribe to the Lymphatech Link and be the first to know when it is ready.
What about the costs?
We are a privately owned institution and this treatment is not covered by insurance.
We value our time and doctors and we want to be fully committed to your case so we reserve a certain amount of hours to work on each case which drives the cost.
However, Russian prices for tests and drugs are much lower than in Western Europe or the USA, the UK, or Canada.
The average is 4200-4700 USD per week of treatment including drugs and tests. A patient should plan for 4-6 weeks.
This amount does not include the cost of hotel and food.
If Russia was not the place you would consider going for medical treatment…
Well, reconsider. We will list down just three reasons for it:
- Russia is an open, beautiful, and safe country with hospitable people, and the Clinic helps with arranging a visa to go for medical treatment
- There is a huge variety of accommodation, food, transportation, and dining options and we help to plan this.
- Once your assistant meets you at the airport everything will be taken care of, including translation and transportation.
Four patients with IBM and their families in Russia
Can we help in your case?
In 70% of cases, the answer is yes, we can help. However, we follow a scientific approach and study each case individually. Leave your contacts below and get ready to share your story and we will be in touch within 1 business day.
1). Greenberg SA. Inclusion body myositis: clinical features and pathogenesis. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2019 May;15(5):257-272. doi: 10.1038/s41584-019-0186-x. PMID: 30837708 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27922498/
2). Ingrid E. Lundberg, Inflammatory muscle disease: etiology and pathogenesis,
Editor(s): Marc C. Hochberg, Alan J. Silman, Josef S. Smolen, Michael E. Weinblatt, Michael H. Weisman, Rheumatology (Sixth Edition), Mosby, 2015, Pages 1237-1247, ISBN 9780323091381 https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-09138-1.00149-2.