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Each type of cause that initiates rheumatoid arthritis or RA flares differentially affects the response to therapy.

Medical Hypotheses 2012 January
The autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA) presents difficulty in diagnosis, commonly observed flare ups, polycyclical nature of RA progression, and variable response to therapies. Congruent with multiple causes, literature has documented various infectious agents, environmental factors, physical trauma, silica and food sensitivities as potential causes of RA or RA flares in different populations. We propose that these>36 events can initiate RA or RA flares which complicates treatment decisions. Each pharmaceutical medicine benefits 15-82% of RA patients. Predictive factors are needed. Because the initiating cause of RA or RA flare affects the type of joint damage, initial inflammatory response, adaptive immune response, and potential molecular mimicry, we propose the "RA cause affects response to therapy" (RACART) theory. The potential cause combined with confounding factors such as genetic risk factors, nutritional status, epigenetic status, inflammatory levels, and detoxification ability may help predict responses to various therapies.

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