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The Link Between Multiple Sclerosis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Updated On:
April 2024
David Harris

The Intriguing Link Between Multiple Sclerosis and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: Insights and Real-Life Impact

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) are two distinct conditions that, at first glance, seem unrelated. MS is an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system, leading to a range of neurological symptoms. EDS, on the other hand, is a group of genetic disorders affecting connective tissue, manifesting in hyperflexibility, joint dislocations, and skin elasticity. However, emerging research and patient stories, such as that of actress Selma Blair, suggest a complex interrelation that demands closer scrutiny.

Studies have revealed a potentially higher prevalence of EDS among individuals with MS. The research conducted by J Vilisaar and colleagues suggests that EDS could be 10-11 times more common in MS patients compared to the general population. The study's findings propose not just a statistical correlation but hint at underlying connective tissue vulnerabilities that could predispose individuals to MS. This revelation opens up a new avenue of diagnostic and management considerations for those affected by both conditions.

Selma Blair's public journey with both MS and EDS provides a powerful narrative to this data. Diagnosed with MS in 2018, Blair has been vocal about her health struggles, using her platform to raise awareness and understanding of both conditions. Her experience mirrors the challenges faced by those living with both MS and EDS, including mobility issues, chronic pain, and the complex interplay of symptoms that can complicate treatment and daily life.

The intersection of MS and EDS in Blair's story and the broader patient population points to the need for a multidisciplinary approach to care. Patients presenting with either condition should be assessed for the other, given the potential implications for treatment strategies and lifestyle adjustments. For instance, the hypermobility seen in EDS can exacerbate the physical challenges posed by MS, making physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises crucial yet tailored to avoid injury.

Moreover, the association between MS and EDS underscores the importance of genetic and environmental factors in autoimmune and connective tissue diseases. Understanding the molecular pathways that link these conditions could lead to better-targeted therapies, improving quality of life for those affected.

In light of these insights, the medical community is called upon to adopt a more holistic view of patient care, recognizing the potential overlaps between neurological and connective tissue disorders. For patients like Selma Blair, this research validates their experiences and offers hope for more integrated and effective treatments.

In conclusion, the relationship between MS and EDS exemplifies the complexity of the human body and the interconnectedness of seemingly disparate conditions. By exploring this connection further, researchers and clinicians can enhance care for those living with these challenging diagnoses, offering hope for improved outcomes and a better understanding of their interrelation. Selma Blair's courageous openness about her health journey adds a deeply human element to the scientific quest for answers, reminding us of the resilience and tenacity of those navigating these intertwined conditions.


  1. Vilisaar, J., Harikrishnan, S., Suri, M., & Constantinescu, C. S. (2008). Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and multiple sclerosis: a possible association. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 14(4), 567-570. doi: 10.1177/1352458507083187. Available at:
  2. Women's Health. (n.d.). Selma Blair's Multiple Sclerosis Timeline. Retrieved from
  3. Kose Ozlece H, Ilik F, Huseyinoglu N. Coexistence of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and multiple sclerosis. Iran J Neurol. 2015 Apr 4;14(2):116-7. PMID: 26056559; PMCID: PMC4449394;

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