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Meagan Owen November 2002 Anatomy Physiology A Little Bit About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis As teenager myself I feel that it is important for the youth of America to be informed on less popular diseases that could very well pose as a threat to us One of those happens to be arthritis Now Im sure that all you young people out there are rolling your eyes thinking Ive heard of arthritis BUT I bet you didnt know that there was juvenile arthritis or that there are nearly 300000 children in America with some form of arthritis or rheumatic disease Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis JRA is the most common form of arthritis in young people It may be a mild condition that causes few problems over time but it can be much more persistent and cause joint and tissue damage in others JRA can also produce serious complications in more severe cases Now I bet you want to know exactly what causes this inconvenient disease Wellunfortunately there is no real answer No one really knows what causes JRA It may be that some kids have certain genes that make it more likely for them to get it Then if they are exposed to something in the environment that acts as a trigger such as a virus the disease starts up But the genes for JRA have to be there to start with Of course almost everyone who gets a cold or flu virus wont end up with JRA And JRA is not contagious so you cant catch it from someone else like a cold JRA is an autoimmune disease Normally a kids immune system sends out white blood cells to protect the body and fight outside invaders like bacteria and viruses that can make a kid sick With JRA the immune system mistakes healthy cells in the body for harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses Instead of recognizing the healthy cells and saying Hi nice to see
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