Is there a link between sleep disorders and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

This question was asked in Silver Spring, Maryland on 07/12/2012.
Have you heard of any links between sleep disorders and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

Doctors Answers (3)

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 7/16/2012

A direct relationship between Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and a specific sleep disorder has not as yet been reported in the literature. I have recently encountered two patients with the disorder. One had insomnia and the other had sleep apnea. Sleep apnea may be secondary to abnormal tissue changes in the hypopharynx where sleep apnea originates. Some neuromuscular genetic disorders such as myotonic dystrophy, for example, are associated with narcoleptic sleepiness symptoms and someday we may find a common sleep disorder in Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Richard J. Schumann Jr., MD
Answered on: 7/16/2012

No specific link is known that I know of yet with sleep apnea. The disorder causes increased elasticity of skin blood vessel, connective tissue and some internal organs. There is a form of one of the six genetic forms that is linked to sudden death. Patients with Ehlers-Danlos live a normal life span and have normal intelligence.

Syed Nabi, M.D.
Answered on: 7/13/2012

I am not familiar with any specific sleep disorder associated with Ehler's Danlos syndrome, but wouldn't be surprised if there are any. If I had to guess, sleep apnea may be more common in Ehler's Danlos than in general population given elasticity disorder.