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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2009 Oct;23(5):589-97. doi: 10.1016/j.berh.2009.08.001.

An overview of genetics of paediatric rheumatic diseases.

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  • 1Windeyer Building, University College London, 46, Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JF, UK. Patricia.woo@ucl.ac.uk


The evidence so far suggests that the paediatric inflammatory diseases encountered in rheumatology practice may be largely genetic in origin, where common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in multiple genes contribute to risk, with real but variable environmental components. As far as genetic susceptibility to common paediatric rheumatic diseases is concerned, only juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) has been investigated in any substantial way so far. This article discusses susceptibility for different types of JIA, the different methods used and their advantages and disadvantages. The genetic code is also modifiable by epigenetic mechanisms and examples of these in immunity and rheumatoid arthritis are given to indicate another area of research in the elucidation of the genetics of paediatric rheumatic diseases.

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