When researchers, observers, and hypothesizers begin to make connections, it can become very interesting. I recently came across listings for research studies which involve patients living with one of two disorders: multiple sclerosis and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is the name given to a diverse group of inherited connective tissue disorders involving a genetic defect in collagen. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, characterized by joint hypermobility, skin extensibility and tissue fragility, can affect the skin, joints, and blood vessels. The prevalence of EDS is estimated to be approximately 1 in 400,000 in the United States, but mild cases may be under diagnosed. In comparison, prevalence of MS is estimated to be approximately 90 in 100,000 in the United States according to the Cleveland Clinic.
There are 11 variants of EDS which have been identified to date, each with differences in genetic, biochemical, and clinical presentation. The specific collagen defect has been identified in only six of 11 variants or types of EDS. Overlap between variants is common and more than one third of persons with EDS do not clearly fit into a single type.
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Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and MS: Is there a connection?