Are your child’s arms or legs disproportionate to his body? Do you notice an abnormal curve in your child’s spine? If you nodded along solemnly, your dear little one might be suffering from Marfan syndrome. Read our post to learn what Marfan syndrome is, what are its causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What Is Marfan Syndrome In Children?
Marfan syndrome is an inherited, genetic disorder that affects the connective tissues that support and anchor joints, organs, and other parts of a child’s body. Connective tissues become weaker than normal in the affected child. Marfan syndrome may also weaken the aorta leading to the risk of aortic tear or aneurysm. The condition also affects skeleton, bones, joints, lungs, skin, eyes, and blood vessels, and it can be mild or severe. However, the genetic disorder does not affect the child’s intelligence adversely. Marfan syndrome affects males as well as females of all races (1).
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Causes Of Marfan Syndrome In Children:
Marfan syndrome results due to a defect in the affected child’s gene, which enables the body to produce a protein that aids in offering strength and elasticity to connective tissues. Most children inherit the defective gene from either of their parents who suffers from the disorder. Each kid of a parent with the abnormal gene has 50% chances of inheriting the gene. About 75% affected individuals suffer symptoms due to the inheritance of the faulty gene. Another cause of Marfan syndrome in children who don’t inherit the abnormal gene is a new mutation that occurs spontaneously (2).
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Symptoms Of Marfan Syndrome In Children:
Children who suffer from Marfan syndrome exhibit peculiar traits, especially, in their bones or skeletal. Below mentioned are Marfan syndrome symptoms in children.
- Tall and thin body frame
- Long, slender arms, fingers, thumbs, legs, and toes
- Double-jointed fingers
- Short torso
- Breastbone of the child caves inwards or protrudes forward
- Loose joints
- Scoliosis or abnormally curved spine
- Flat feet
- Lung complications
- Vision problems (3)
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Diagnosing Marfan Syndrome In Children:
Even though the disorder is congenital, it may not be easily noticeable in newborns. The symptoms and traits of Marfan syndrome become more noticeable as the affected child grows. The symptoms are quite obvious, and a physician can easily diagnose Marfan syndrome in a child.
Treating Marfan Syndrome In Kids
Even though there is no cure for Marfan syndrome, doctors suggest treatments to prevent complications of the disorder. Modern science and regular monitoring serve some of the best treatments for children with the disorder. Here are some effective treatments for children with marfan syndrome.
Usually, doctors prescribe medications to keep blood pressure in the Marfan syndrome affected child low to minimize the strain on his weak blood vessels, prevent the aorta from enlarging, and minimize the risk of rupture. Most common medications are beta blockers that aid in making the affected child’s heart beat slowly with a lesser strain. Blood pressure medications include losartan or Cozaar. Provide your child only prescribed doses of the medicines.
[ Read: Scoliosis In Children ]
Based on the severity of symptoms of Marfan syndrome and the affected part of the body, doctor recommends a surgery. The doctor may recommend an eye surgery to replace the affected lens of the child’s eye. Also, the doctor can recommend aorta repair or replacement of aorta valve and breastbone corrections if the deformed breastbone hampers the child’s breathing. The doctor may suggest scoliosis treatment to straighten the curved spine of the affected child (4).
Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help the child with Marfan syndrome to lead a normal, healthy life.
Did your child suffer from symptoms of Marfan syndrome? How did you treat it? Tell us. Share your invaluable experience with other mothers. Leave a comment below.
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