Scientists Say Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Autoimmune Conditions Could Be Inherited

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Scientists Say Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Autoimmune Conditions Could Be Inherited

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could be inherited, according to new research confirming a trend that doctors have noticed for years: that certain autoimmune conditions appear to run in families.

Many people say that it seems like certain rheumatic and autoimmune diseases run in families, but doctors simply didn’t have the data to back up that assumption — until now.

A recent study examined whether nine pediatric-onset autoimmune ailments, including the juvenile form of rheumatoid arthritis, might be inherited.

The study, which was published in a recent issue of Nature Communications, was made up of genetic data collected by 20 doctors and hospital systems both in the United States and overseas.

The scientists looked at genes and related factors to see if different autoimmune diseases in a single family might have a common genetic trigger.

This research may help researchers and medical professionals more accurately and precisely predict the onset of autoimmune illness in children.

“The results from this study enable us to better understand the genetic component of these diseases and how they are genetically related to each other, thereby explaining why different autoimmune disorders often run in the same family,” said Dr. Hakon Hakonarson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Applied Genomics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who lead the study.

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