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Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month – February 2023

Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month is observed each year during the month of February. Marfan syndrome is a disorder that affects connective tissue. It affects the fibers that support organs and other structures in the body. The heart, eyes, blood vessels, and skeleton are all affected by Marfan Syndrome. This month is dedicated to raising awareness about Marfan syndrome and related illnesses. With the right resources, you can learn about early detection, treatment, and living a long and healthy life. Volunteers and communities interested in the caregiving of patients with Marfan Syndrome are encouraged to participate in Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month.

History of Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month

Marfan syndrome is named after Antoine Marfan. He was a French pediatrician who developed the term in 1896 after observing certain strange traits in a five-year-old female patient. Francesco Ramirez is credited for first identifying the gene linked to the disease that was first identified at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City in 1991.

Marfan syndrome is distinguished by exceptionally tall and skinny individuals. They have relatively long arms, legs, fingers, and toes, and the severity of their conditions can range from mild to severe. Even within the same family, each patient has varying degrees of severity of Marfan syndrome. It is only when the aorta — the primary blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body — is affected, that the condition can become life-threatening.

Patients are usually treated with medicines that keep their blood pressure low to reduce the strain on their aorta. Caregivers must ensure that the patient is under regular monitoring so that medical intervention can be provided if the need arises. Most patients with Marfan syndrome eventually require preventive surgery to repair the aorta and extend their lifespan.

The signs and symptoms of Marfan syndrome are never the same between two people, including those who belong to the same family. Some patients experience only mild effects while others develop life-threatening complications. A tall and slender build, a breastbone that juts outward or dips inward, an arched palate and crowded teeth, heart murmurs, acute nearsightedness, and an abnormally curved spine are all characteristics of Marfan syndrome.

Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month timeline

1896
It is Discovered

Antoine Marfan discovers the condition in a patient.

1991
Gene Linked to the Condition is Found

Francesco Ramirez discovers it.

1996
P.G.T. Therapy

It detects embryos with Marfan Syndrome.

2004
First Surgery

Aortic root surgeries are performed for Marfan Syndrome patients.

Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month FAQs

What is the main cause of Marfan syndrome?

Marfan syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene called FBN1. The mutation compromises the body’s ability to make proteins for building connective tissue.

What is the life expectancy of someone with Marfan?

The life expectancy of those with Marfan syndrome is nearly 70 years but those with serious heart conditions might have a shorter life expectancy.

Can Marfan syndrome be cured?

There’s currently no cure for Marfan syndrome. However, treatment can manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

How to Observe Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month

  1. Learn about the syndrome

    Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month can be observed by learning about the syndrome and what you can do to help. Take some time out this month to do a bit of research.

  2. Raise awareness

    Post about Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month and the disorder to your social media accounts. Get more people engaged in the conversation about how to navigate life with Marfan Syndrome.

  3. Donate

    Donate to organizations that work with patients with Marfan Syndrome. You can also volunteer your time, and organize charity drives on their behalf.

5 Facts About The Human Heart That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. It’s not very big

    Your heart is the size of your fist.

  2. It is a very busy organ

    The heart beats an average of 115,000 times a day.

  3. The blood vessel system is very long

    It would stretch it over 6,000 miles if you unravel it.

  4. A broken heart is real

    It is similar to a heart attack but the cause is usually stress.

  5. Laughing is good for your heart

    It reduces stress and keeps your immune system healthy.

Why Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month is Important

  1. Raises awareness

    Observations like Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month help raise awareness about conditions that not many of us know about. This month, see what else you can find out about.

  2. Improves inclusivity

    Marfan's Syndrome Awareness Month initiates discussions about the syndrome and what we can do to make life more inclusive for those who have it. Syndromes and diseases can often make sufferers feel isolated and misunderstood. Education is key.

  3. Brings together resources

    If you or someone you know is having difficulty finding Marfan Syndrome resources, this month is a fantastic opportunity to pool resources and interact with Marfan Syndrome families and individuals. See what you can do this month to help out.

Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday
2025February 1Saturday
2026February 1Sunday
2027February 1Monday
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