Connective Tissue Disorders/Diseases

A

Rheumatologist

is the specialist with a particular interest in

connective tissue

disorders or diseases. These diseases are disorders featuring abnormalities involving the proteins

collagen

and

elastin

that make up the tissue. Many connective tissue diseases feature abnormal

immune system

activity with

inflammation

in tissues. Some connective tissue diseases such as Marfan Syndrome (tissue abnormalities in the heart, aorta, lungs, eyes and skeleton) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (loose, fragile skin or loose joints) are genetic diseases. Other connective tissue diseases feature spontaneous hyperactivity of the immune system, which results in production of extra antibodies. These connective tissue diseases include systemic

lupus

erythematosus, rheumatoid

arthritis

, scleroderma, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis. Each of these can be diagnosed by examination and blood tests.

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