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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Mixed connective tissue disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • MCTD
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Your Question

What causes mixed connective tissue disease? Is it genetic? Is it due to environmental exposures?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What causes mixed connective tissue disease?

Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a term used by some experts to describe a collection of symptoms similar to those of systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis. At this time the cause of mixed connective tissue disease is poorly understood. It is an autoimmune disease and there have been many studies looking carefully at how the immune system is involved in patients with this disease.  Click here to learn more about autoimmune diseases.[1][2] 
Last updated: 9/15/2011

Is mixed connective tissue disease a genetic condition?

The role of genetics in the onset of connective tissue disease is still unclear. Research suggests that many factors, including genetics, hormones, and the environment contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions like mixed connective tissue disease. It is thought that some individuals may be genetically predisposed to develop this disease. This means that a person's genes may make them more likely to develop the condition.[1][2] 
Last updated: 9/15/2011