More than 200 connective tissue diseases – inflammatory disorders of muscle, joints and skin — have been identified.
The most common connective tissue disorders are rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus. In the United States, two million people live with rheumatoid arthritis, and another 1.5 million live with lupus.
A much rarer group of connective tissue disorders is called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Unlike the diseases noted above, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is not an autoimmune condition, it's an inherited disorder.
Patients can have:
Ehlers-Danlos can occur as a result of inheriting affected genes from your parents. Mutations in at least 19 genes have been linked to Ehlers-Danlos syndromes. There are no other risk factors.
Your HonorHealth neurologist will first complete a personal and family medical history and conduct an exam. Your neurologist may also conduct the following tests to confirm diagnosis:
Treatment often consists of medications and physical therapy. Although there's no cure, there are treatment options for symptoms caused by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Although some rare forms of the disease are potentially life threatening, the majority of patients have a normal life expectancy.