There is rapidly growing interest in the relationship between the hereditary connective tissue disorders, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)/hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD), and autism. As some of my regular readers already know, I’ve been studying this relationship the last few years, both in terms of co-occurrence as well as overlap within the same families. Although there aren’t any current official estimates, I personally suspect that 10% or more of EDS/HSD individuals also meet criteria for autism and probably even more fall within the Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP) aka “subclinical” autism. We’ll see if future research bears out my suspicions.
This week Spectrum News published an article I wrote titled, “What Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Can Teach Us about Autism,” exploring these very relationships. While it’s still very early days in terms of research, I’m hopeful that articles like this will interest the scientific community and draw them towards the study of these important issues. I know from personal discussions that the relationship between EDS/HSD and autism is a hot topic within both the zebra and autistic communities alike.
While I wish I could have gone into more depth in the article into topics such as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), orthostatic intolerance, and issues with Chiari malformations, tethered cord, and CSF leaks, all of which severely impact the general health of those on the EDS spectrum, the editors felt we needed to keep the introductory article simple for those readers who were completely unfamiliar with EDS/HSD, which I can understand. Hopefully, I may be allowed to bring light to these other serious issues in a future article.
In the meantime, I’m glad that this is another inch forward in highlighting the underappreciated relationship between EDS/HSD and autism!