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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True. The correct answer choice is (C)

Since this is an ordinary fact-set stimulus and not an argument, the Must Be True question requires us to put the facts together in some meaningful way and come up with a valid conclusion.

The author states that in rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system malfunctions by attacking the joints. The resulting damage activates a hormone that causes swelling and pain, which is normally released only in reaction to injury or infection. Since the new drug seeks to alleviate these symptoms by inhibiting the functioning of the hormone responsible for them, we can expect that a patient taking the drug will not experience swelling and pain regardless of what their cause is. Answer choice (C) is therefore correct.

Answer choice (A): This answer concludes that the new drug will repair the cell damage caused by arthritis. The author's statements do not support this answer, since all we know about the drug is that it stops the function of the hormone responsible for pain and swelling.

Answer choice (B): The stimulus makes no mention of what the drug's side effects might be, which is why we cannot tell whether the benefits of taking it would outweigh the costs. This answer choice is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. Since the drug inhibits a pain-inducing hormone that is normally released in response to joint injury, it will likely eliminate the symptoms of any joint damage, regardless of cause. If one has no pain or swelling, it might be impossible to know if injury has occurred. Notice the precision with which test makers expressed the likelihood of this occurrence: the patient could sustain a joint injury without becoming aware of it. We do not know whether the inhibited hormone is the only factor responsible for alerting the patient of any damage to her joints.

Answer choice (D): Hopefully you were able to discount this answer choice pretty quickly. The drug's only stated ability is to inhibit a hormone released during joint damage. Lupus and diabetes are different diseases that cause damage to other parts of the body and cause completely different symptoms, which may or may not be caused by the same hormone. This answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (E): The author does not indicate whether this drug can be used to treat other joint-related diseases. If any other joint disease causes cell damage that releases the hormone in question, it is perfectly possible that such disease would be affected by this medication. This answer choice is incorrect.
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As I was reviewing this question, I know that answer choice C is the correct answer however how can stating that the patient can sustain a joint injury without becoming aware of it be supported by the stimulus? The stimulus says that the new medication will inhibit the function of the hormone that causes pain and swelling. With that said, the patient can therefore experience other symptoms of a joint injury such as bruising while taking the medication and become aware of it. Perhaps I've misinterpreted the stimulus. If you can please clarify I would very much appreciate it! Thank you in advance!
 Jonathan Evans
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Hi, Zem,

Let's discuss the statements in the stimulus, the question stem itself, and the answer choice itself.

From the statements, we know the hormone is normally activated only in reaction to injury or infection, and the medicine inhibits the functioning of this hormone.

This information should help you generate a strong prephrase about the connection of which the answer will treat. Given the relationship between the medicine's inhibition of this hormone and the hormone's typical function to indicate injury or infection, you can expect that the answer will note what might happen should someone both be taking this medicine and experience an injury or infection.

Answer (C) is the only plausible candidate to match the information in the stimulus.

Further, consider the question stem: "The statements above, if true, most strongly support which one of the following conclusions?"

It is notable that this question stem instructs you not to find "if the statements above are true, which of the following must also be true on the basis of them," but instead what is "most strongly" supported. Without a doubt, there is clear "support" for answer (C) in the stimulus.

Further, the instructions for the LR section notes: "[Y]ou are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question. You should not make assumptions that are by commonsense standards implausible, superfluous, or incompatible with the passage."

While you could argue that your assumption that an injured person could note bruising is both plausible and compatible with the passage, the LSAT writer could retort that such an assumption is in fact superfluous.

Lastly, the answer itself indicates only that it is possible that someone on the new medication could sustain a joint injury without becoming aware of it. The answer clearly only indicates that such an occurrence is plausible according to the information contained in the stimulus, which it certainly is.

I hope this helps.

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