The goal of this study is to examine the genetic and environmental risk factors in the development of autoimmune diseases in twins and same-sex siblings, when one has an autoimmune disease and the other does not. Adults and children may enroll by completing questionnaires and donating blood and urine samples.
Current evidence suggests that the adult and juvenile forms of systemic rheumatic disorders - defined here as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus; SLE), Systemic Sclerosis (Scleroderma; SSC), and Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies (Myositis; IIM) - share many common clinical manifestations, immune responses, genetic, hormonal and environmental risk factors, and possible causes. This protocol will explore the risk factors for systemic rheumatic disorders through the evaluation of families with monozygotic (identical) or dizygotic (fraternal) twins or other brothers or sisters (siblings) discordant for systemic rheumatic disorders (twin-sib pairs). Parents, normal volunteers will also be evaluated as needed for the experimental designs of each portion of the protocol.
Frederick W. Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
Deputy Chief, Clinical Research Branch and Principal Investigator
P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop F1-09Durham, N.C. 27709
Adam I. Schiffenbauer, M.D.
Staff Clinician, Environmental Autoimmunity Group
10 Center Dr
Magnuson Clinical Center
Bethesda, MD 20892-1627