Marfan syndrome can affect the central nervous system.
A particular issue can be Dural ectasia, which is the weakening of the connective tissue of the dural sac encasing the spinal cord. This is not normally life-threatening, but it can reduce the quality of life for a person with Marfan syndrome. The symptoms of Dural ectasia are produced without noticeable affects. However, unusual symptoms can occur such as lower back pain, leg pain, abdominal pain, and other neurological symptoms in the lower extremities, or even headaches. These symptoms often diminish when a person affected lies flat on his or her back.
Such symptoms should be brought to a doctors attention, and an X-ray of the lower spine is often advised. However, Dural ectasia is usually not visible on an X-ray in the early phases.
If these symptoms should persist, a doctor may advise an MRI of the lower spine. Often these symptoms will appear on an MRI image as a dilated pouch wearing away the lumbar vertebrae.
Also other spinal issues associated with Marfan syndrome may include degenerative disk disease, spinal cysts and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.
It is recommended that a person with Marfan syndrome that should develop any of these symptoms associated with the central nervous system inform their doctor. Some people need to take medicine for the relief of the pain if the spinal cord swells.