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Arthritis

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/arthritis

What is arthritis? "Arthritis" literally means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, the term arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. There are different types of arthritis. In some diseases in which arthritis occurs, other organs, such as your eyes, heart, or skin, can also be affected. Fortunately, current treatments allow most people with arthritis to lead active and productive lives.

Scleroderma

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/scleroderma

What is scleroderma? Scleroderma is an autoimmune connective tissue and rheumatic disease that causes inflammation in the skin and other areas of the body. This inflammation leads to patches of tight, hard skin. Scleroderma involves many systems in your body. A connective tissue disease is one that affects tissues such as skin, tendons, and cartilage. There are two major types of scleroderma: Localized scleroderma only affects the skin and the structures directly under the skin. Systemic scleroderma, also called systemic sclerosis, affects many systems in the body. This is the more serious type of scleroderma and can damage your blood

Rheumatoid Arthritis

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/rheumatoid-arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that mostly affects joints, such as the wrist, hands, feet, spine, knees, and jaw. In joints, RA causes inflammation that leads to: Pain. Swelling Stiffness. Loss of function. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder because the immune system attacks the healthy joint tissues. Normally, the immune system helps protect the body from infection and disease. RA may cause you to feel unusually tired, to have occasional fevers, and to have a loss of appetite. It also may cause other medical problems in the heart, lungs, blood, nerves, eyes

Vitiligo

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/vitiligo

What is vitiligo? Vitiligo is a chronic (long-lasting) disorder that causes areas of skin to lose color. When skin cells that make color are attacked and destroyed, the skin turns a milky-white color. No one knows what causes vitiligo, but it may be an autoimmune disease. In people with autoimmune diseases, the immune cells attack the body’s own healthy tissues by mistake, instead of viruses or bacteria. A person with vitiligo sometimes may have family members who also have the disease. There is no cure for vitiligo, but treatment may help skin tone appear more even.

Heritable Disorders of Connective Tissue

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/heritable-disorders-connective-tissue

What are heritable disorders of connective tissue? There are more than 200 heritable disorders of connective tissue that can affect the tissues between the cells of your body that give tissues form and strength. All of these diseases are directly related to problems in genes that are responsible for building connective tissues. The disorders are called “heritable,” because they are passed on from parent to child. Some heritable disorders of connective tissue change the look and growth of skin, bones, joints, heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, and ears. Others change how these tissues work. Many, but not all, are rare

Fibrous Dysplasia

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/fibrous-dysplasia

What is fibrous dysplasia? Fibrous dysplasia happens when abnormal fibrous (scar-like) tissue replaces healthy bone. The fibrous tissue weakens the bone over time, which can lead to: Broken bones. Bones that are misshapen (bowed or crooked). The disease can affect any bone in the body. Some people have no symptoms or only a few symptoms. Other people may have more symptoms. Although there is no cure for fibrous dysplasia, treatments may help to lessen pain, and physical therapy may help strengthen muscle and improve movement.

Knee Problems

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/knee-problems

What are knee problems? Knee problems happen when you injure or develop disease in your knee and it can’t do its job. The knees provide stable support for the body. They also allow your legs to bend and straighten. Both flexibility and stability are needed to stand, walk, run, crouch, jump, and turn. Other parts of your body help the knees do their job. These are: Bones. Cartilage. Muscles. Ligaments. Tendons.

Novel Insights Into Causes of Scleroderma Offer Potential New Treatment Strategies

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/novel-insights-scleroderma

Integrins, a large class of cell surface molecules, play a role in a skin disease called scleroderma, according to research funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and published in the journal Nature. The study showed that targeting integrins in mice with a form of scleroderma reversed the skin abnormalities associated with the disease. Scleroderma is a potentially life-threatening condition in which previously healthy people develop scarring of the skin, and in some cases damage to blood vessels and internal organs. In most forms of scleroderma, the cause of the disease is

Modified Protein Improves Vitiligo Symptoms in Mice

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/modified-protein-improves-vitiligo-symptoms-mice

Altering a key protein involved in the development of vitiligo may protect against—or even reverse—the pigmentation loss associated with the skin disorder in mice, according to recent research funded by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Vitiligo is a progressive autoimmune disease in which the skin cells that impart color (melanocytes) are destroyed, resulting in white patches on the face, hands and other parts of the body. Scientists are unsure what causes vitiligo. They are investigating the biological mechanisms that trigger the disease, as well as its

International Team Identifies Biomarker for Scleroderma

https://www.niams.nih.gov/newsroom/spotlight-on-research/international-team-identifies-biomarker-scleroderma

A higher level of a small signaling molecule correlates with a more severe form of scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disorder that involves the abnormal growth of connective tissue, according to a study funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The findings suggest that the molecule, CXCL4, could be used as a diagnostic marker for the disease and as a therapeutic target. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease characterized by damage to blood vessels and thickening and scarring of the skin. In some cases, internal