Disease Specific Info

There are a growing number of autoinflammatory diseases, and many have been discovered, or classified in the past few decades. However, patients have likely been suffering with these diseases for centuries. In the past, many of these diseases were referred to as Hereditary Periodic Fever Syndromes.This is a basic overview of these diseases.

In most cases, autoinflammatory diseases are caused by genetic mutations (or misspellings) in molecules that are involved in regulating the innate immune response–a “hard wired” defense system in our bodies that evolved to quickly recognize and act against infectious agents, or other danger signals produced by our bodies.

The genetic mutation is either inherited, or spontaneously created, and most autoinflammatory diseases cause lifelong symptoms, in many cases from infancy or early childhood. There are some autoinflammatory diseases that develop later in life. Most of these diseases can cause a variety of systemic symptoms from inflammation in the body.

It is important not to confuse autoinflammatory syndromes with the more common, and well-known but different diseases called autoimmune diseases, such as: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), most forms of juvenile arthritis (except SJIA) or many others that are caused by the body’s adaptive immune system developing antibodies to antigens that then attack healthy body tissues.

We will try to feature information and medical research for many of these diseases in this area, but feel free to also go to our website to learn about a number of these diseases. In addition, our comparative chart has a lot of specific information, symptoms and lab findings on it, but it is written more for a medical audience.

Content for this page in regards to the innate immune system, and autoinflammatory diseases in general is based on information from our medical guidebook on CAPS, written by leading experts on these diseases.

The primary symptom shared by many of these diseases is the frequent recurrent fever, but many also have distinctive rashes, and a cluster of symptoms that accompany the fevers, that are often referred to as “flares” or “attacks.”

These diseases include: