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Social Security Disability and Marfan Syndrome

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Sep 12, 2013 | 0 Comments

Social Security Disability and Marfan Syndrome

Tall and slender individuals with disproportionately long arms, legs, fingers, and toes may have Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome is usually an inherited gene defect that affects the body's connective tissue. While the syndrome is usually inherited, those with no family history can also have Marfan syndrome. “It is estimated that more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are affected by Marfan syndrome or a related connective tissue disorder.” How is Marfan syndrome diagnosed? “Marfan syndrome can be challenging for doctors to diagnose because many connective tissue disorders have similar signs and symptoms. Even among members of the same family, the signs and symptoms of Marfan syndrome vary widely — both in their features and in their severity.” Doctors will take a complete medical history and possibly order a number of tests to assist in diagnosis. These tests are CT scans, MRIs, echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, and slit lamp eye exams. A doctor may order genetic testing, but genetic tests are not absolutely clear and are very complicated. What does Marfan syndrome look like? The most visible signs of Marfan syndrome are long arms, legs, fingers and toes on a tall and thin individual. Sometimes an individual will suffer from scoliosis or flat feet. Marfan syndrome individuals also tend to have highly flexible joints. Individuals with Marfan syndrome tend to be nearsighted (myopia) and have a higher incidence of dislocating their eye lenses. There is also a higher possibility of suffering a detached retina. Some of the most dangerous symptoms associated with Marfan syndrome occur with the heart and blood vessels. The weak connective tissue tends to cause the wall of the aorta to bulge or balloon known as an aortic aneurysm. This weak area can tear or burst (aortic dissection) and require surgical repair or result in immediate death. Aside from the aorta, the heart valves can weaken and leak, causing the heart to work harder. This can result in heart failure. Marfan syndrome also affects the lungs. Lung function can be restricted due to weak respiratory muscles. Individuals can also suffer from emphysema, a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, or sleep apnea. There is also the possibility an individual with Marfan syndrome can suffer from a collapsed lung. How is Marfan syndrome treated? Since Marfan syndrome is genetic, there is no cure. But there are treatments for the varying symptoms and difficulties individuals suffer. If an individual dislocates an eye lens, it can be surgically reattached. An individual may require surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm or an aortic dissection. There is also the possibly of the need to repair or replace one or more heart valves. “Doctors often prescribe blood pressure lowering drugs to help prevent the aorta from enlarging and to reduce the risk of dissection and rupture. The most commonly used drugs are beta-blockers, which cause your heart to beat more slowly and with less force.” Is Marfan syndrome covered by Social Security Disability? Marfan syndrome is listed under cardiovascular system problems that can result in the need for Social Security Disability (SSD). The Social Security Administration's description of Marfan syndrome is similar to what is described above. Depending on the severity of the symptoms an individual suffers, will dictate whether an individual qualifies for SSD. If you suffer from Marfan syndrome and have difficulty performing your job, you could be eligible for SSD. Contact our experienced attorney to assist you with the SSD process. Related Posts: Possible Changes Coming to SSD Hearing Loss Evaluations Meniere's Disease and Social Security Disability Sickle Cell Disease and Social Security Disability

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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