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Diseases

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?

The cause of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is currently not known. It is an autoimmune disorder, which means that in people with this condition, the immune system mistakes normal, healthy cells for those that that body should "fight off." There have been ongoing studies looking at how the immune system is involved in people with this condition.[1][2] 
Last updated: 6/2/2014

Is mixed connective tissue disease inherited?

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: 6/2/2014

References
Other Names for this Disease
  • MCTD
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.