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Pediatric rheumatologists,researchers and families, working hand in hand to support groundbreaking,
life-changing research and treatment for children living with arthritis and lupus.

Scientists Say Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and Other Autoimmune Conditions Could Be Inherited

Many people say that it seems like certain rheumatic and autoimmune diseases run in families, but doctors simply didn’t have the data to back up that assumption — until now.

A recent study examined whether nine pediatric-onset autoimmune ailments, including the juvenile form of rheumatoid arthritis, might be inherited.

The study, which was published in a recent issue of Nature Communications, was made up of genetic data collected by 20 doctors and hospital systems both in the United States and overseas.


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Blog By Dr. Deborah McCurdy, MD


Dr. McCurdy is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, the Director of Pediatric Rheumatology, and the Director of the Pediatric Rheumatology Training Program at UCLA. She received her medical degree from the Drexel University School of Medicine in Philadelphia and trained in Pediatric Rheumatology at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. On completion of her training, she moved to Children's Hospital Orange County and became the Director of Rheumatology in 1997 until moving to UCLA in 2003.

Twenty percent of her time is dedicated to the education of fellows, residents and medical students. In addition to her clinics at UCLA-Westwood campus, she also holds clinics at UCLA Harbor, Olive View, and Ventura Medical Center. On the first and third Tuesdays of each month, Dr. McCurdy holds a Pediatric Lupus Clinic at UCLA in conjunction with Dr. Ora Yadin (Professor of Pediatrics & Nephrology).

Dr. McCurdy’s research interests include DNA repair in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and candidate genes in the pathogenesis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and SLE. | Finland | Helsinki | Denmark