Inheritance and Genetics of Autoimmune diseases


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About inheritance and genetics: Inheritance of Autoimmune diseases refers to whether the condition is inherited from your parents or "runs" in families. The level of inheritance of a condition depends on how important genetics are to the disease. Strongly genetic diseases are usually inherited, partially genetic diseases are sometimes inherited, and non-genetic diseases are not inherited. For general information, see Introduction to Genetics.

Inheritance of Autoimmune diseases: The genes people inherit contribute to their susceptibility for developing an autoimmune disease. Certain diseases such as psoriasis can occur among several members of the same family. This suggests that a specific gene or set of genes predisposes a family member to psoriasis. In addition, individual family members with autoimmune diseases may inherit and share a set of abnormal 1

Autoimmune diseases seem to also have a hereditary component, but mysteriously, they can cluster in families as different illnesses. For example, a mother may have lupus erythematosus; her daughter, diabetes; her grandmother, rheumatoid arthritis. Research is shedding light on genetic, as well as hormonal and environmental risk factors that contribute to the causes of these diseases.2


Genetics of Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune diseases also seem to have a genetic component, but, mysteriously, they can cluster in families as different illnesses. For example, a mother may have lupus erythematosus; her daughter, diabetes; her grandmother, rheumatoid arthritis. Research is shedding light on genetic, as well as hormonal and environmental risk factors that contribute to the causes of these diseases. 3

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID
2. excerpt from Autoimmune  Diseases: NWHIC
3. excerpt from Fact Sheet Autoimmune Disease in Women: NWHIC

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