Marfan Syndrome: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Everything you need to know about this tissue disorder. Watch the video above for an overview of Marfan.

1. Marfan Syndrome Affects the Body’s Connective Tissue

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Connective tissue holds all the body’s cells, organs and tissue together.

2. Marfan Affects Different Parts of the Body, But Not the Brain

Because connective tissue is found throughout the body, Marfan syndrome can affect many different parts of the body, as well. Features of the disorder are most often found in the heart, blood vessels, bones, joints, and eyes. It does not affect intelligence.

Because of complications with the aorta, many people with Marfan will be asked to avoid “high-intensity team sports, contact sports, and weight lifting.”

Recently, college superstar basketball player Isaiah Austin found out just days before the NBA draft that he had Marfan syndrome. It is a career-ending diagnosis that he is handling with absolute grace. Read more about his story here.

3. There is No Cure for Marfan

There is no current cure for the syndrome, but now with proper treatment, people with Marfan don’t have shortened life expectancy. Regular checkups are required to monitor the heart valves and aorta and to address any other long-term issues.

4. People with Marfan Are Usually Tall and Thin

People with Marfan syndrome are usually tall and thin with unusually long arms, legs, fingers and toes.

5. Marfan is More Common Than You Think

About 1 in 5,000 have Marfan Syndrome. It affects men and women and people of all races and ethnicities. It is genetic, so there is a 50 percent chance that a parent will pass along the genetic mutation to their children. Some people do not inherit it, and are the first in their family to have it by spontaneous genetic mutation.

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