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Clinical Services at Rush Frequently Asked Questions

Connective tissue diseases

How common are these conditions?
What are the risks that my children will get an inherited connective tissue disease?
Are there any diets or supplements that can help?
Are there certain types of exercise to avoid if you have a connective tissue disease?
What research Is being done on heritable disorders of connective tissue?

How common are these conditions?

  • Research statistics reveal that Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has the highest prevalence at one in 5,000 births, with the hypermobility type being the most common.
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta has a prevalence of one in 10,000, with Type I and IV being the most common
  • Marfan syndrome can affect one in 10,000 to 20,000 people.

What are the risks that my children will get an inherited connective tissue disease?

Most forms of these conditions are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means only one of the two copies of the gene in question must be altered to cause the disorder. Therefore if a parent has the gene, there is a 50 percent chance the gene will be passed to the child. There are also forms that can be inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means both copies of the gene, one from each parent, must be altered for a person to be affected by the condition. Nevertheless, these conditions can occur in families with no prior history or knowledge of connective tissue disease and are believed to occur due to de novo or spontaneous mutations.

Are there any diets or supplements that can help?

There are currently no studies that have proven benefit of certain diets or vitamins on these conditions. Generally it is advised to have a healthy diet and use vitamins as needed to support bone and muscle health.

Are there certain types of exercise to avoid if you have a connective tissue disease?

As these diseases cause bone, ligament and muscle fragility or instability, it is best to avoid anything that is high impact. Walking, swimming, stationary bikes or elliptical machines are the most suitable. In addition, occasional visits with physiatrists or physical therapists can be helpful to create exercise programs to promote muscle strength, which can be done daily and without the use of machines.

What research Is being done on heritable disorders of connective tissue?

Research trials are ongoing to:

  • Figure out where the exact changes (mutations) are in the connective tissue genes
  • Find out how these changes cause the diseases and if stem cells can be used to alter this
  • Use all the new knowledge to plan and test new kinds of therapy on individuals who already have clinical symptoms

You can search for ongoing clinical trials at clinicaltrials.gov


   

 





Contact Name
Rush Connective Tissue Disease Clinic
Contact Phone
(312) 563-2800
Contact E-mail
contact_rush@rush.edu



Location
Orthopedic Building
1611 W. Harrison St., Suite 510
Chicago, IL 60612



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