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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Cause

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is not fully understood. Genes play a role, but experts don't know exactly what that role is. For most people with RA, the disease doesn't run in their families and they don't pass it along to their children. One or more genes may make it more likely that the body's immune system will attack the tissues of the joints. This immune response may also be triggered by bacteria, a virus, or some other foreign substance.

Other causes of joint pain include osteoarthritis, lupus, and gout.

Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile Arthritis at School: 504 Plans, IEPs, and Pain Issues

Sam Williams and his parents knew something was wrong when it hurt for the 8-year-old to grip a baseball bat, but they never considered juvenile arthritis. It hurt to write, giving Sam a sound excuse for not wanting to do his homework -- or even his work at school. After several weeks, Sam's pain grew worse -- and moved into his knees. He also had pain in his jaw and had trouble walking. "His brother had to carry him piggyback up the stairs," says Rose Williams, Sam's mother. After several months,...

Read the Juvenile Arthritis at School: 504 Plans, IEPs, and Pain Issues article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 06, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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