Connective Tissue Disease

A connective tissue disease is any disease that has the connective tissues of the body as a target of pathology. Connective tissue is any type of biological tissue with an extensive extracellular matrix that supports, binds together, and protects organs. These tissues form a framework, or matrix, for the body, and are composed of two major structural protein molecules: collagen and elastin. There are many different types of collagen protein in each of the body's tissues. Elastin has the capability of stretching and returning to its original length—like a spring or rubber band. Elastin is the major component of ligaments (tissues that attach bone to bone) and skin. In patients with connective tissue disease, it is common for collagen and elastin to become injured by inflammation. Many connective tissue diseases feature abnormal immune system activity with inflammation in tissues as a result of an immune system that is directed against one's own body tissues (autoimmunity).

Diseases in which inflammation or weakness of collagen tends to occur are also referred to as collagen diseases. Collagen vascular diseases can be (but are not necessarily) associated with collagen and blood vessel abnormalities and that are autoimmune in nature. See also vasculitis.

Connective tissue diseases can have strong or weak inheritance risks, and can also be caused by environmental factors.

Read more about Connective Tissue DiseaseHeritable Connective Tissue Disorders, Autoimmune Connective Tissue Disorders, Other Connective Tissue Disorders

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... In medicine, mixed connective tissue disease (also known as Sharp's syndrome), commonly abbreviated as MCTD, is an autoimmune disease, in which the body's defense system attacks itself ... It is sometimes equated with the term "Undifferentiated connective tissue disease",) but some sources specifically reject such assertions of equivalence ...
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... It is possible to classify autoimmune diseases by corresponding type of hypersensitivity type II, type III, or type IV ... (No type of autoimmune disease mimics type I hypersensitivity.) There is continuing debate about when a disease should be considered autoimmune, leading to different criteria such as Witebsky's postulates ... Autoantibody Notes Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) Accepted Addison's disease interferon omega transglutaminase aromatic acid carboxylase GAD HAI 17 hydroxylase ...

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