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Genes & Hypermobility: Let’s Explore The Connection Now!

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Genes & hypermobility are closely related. To date, we know that hypermobility is inherited and multiple family members usually have it. But what we don’t know is what gene or genes cause hypermobility.

You’re sure to be eager to find out more about the genes that cause hypermobility and how they’re passed on. Read on to find out all this and more!

Is hypermobility genetic?

Hypermobility is a genetic condition that typically runs in families. Females are three times more likely to be hypermobile than males. So, don’t be surprised if you find out your mom, aunt, grandmother, and great grandmother are bendier than you thought.

General joint hypermobility is often inherited. Some of the medical conditions that cause hypermobility are also genetic. Examples of these conditions include hEDS, Marfan Syndrome, and Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI).

Is hypermobility passed down?

In most cases, hypermobility is passed down from parent to child. Hypermobility is passed down in a way that’s known as ‘autosomal dominant inheritance’.

In this case, autosomal dominant inheritance refers to a child with hypermobility that has inherited a copy of a mutated gene from one or both of their parents. A mutated gene is a change to a gene that affects a person’s DNA pattern.

Will I pass hypermobility on to my child?

Possibly. If you have a condition that causes your hypermobility, such as hEDS, you more than likely have a gene mutation that you inherited from either your mother or father. 

As a result of this gene mutation, your children will have a 50% chance of inheriting a copy of this mutation. If they do, they’re likely to have the same hypermobile-related condition as you.

If both of a child’s parents have the same gene mutation, the chances of hypermobility being passed on increases to 75%.

Can hypermobility skip a generation?

Hypermobility can skip a generation. Your gene mutation may pass down to your child but it doesn’t mean they’ll be symptomatic. 

It’s possible that they’ll carry the gene without any problems. When they have children, the gene mutation could pass down and your child’s child (your grandchild) could have symptomatic hypermobility.

It’s important not to stress about this though. Every individual with hypermobility experiences their own symptoms – and some get it a lot worse than others. For example, you may be confined to a wheelchair and be disabled because of your hypermobility.

But that doesn’t mean your child, grandchild, or any other family member with the condition will end up the same way. It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that they’ll be able to work with hypermobility, although some workplace adaptations, such as needing an ergonomic chair for hypermobile pain, may be needed.

A lot of factors play a role in how someone with hypermobility is impacted, including environmental influences and lifestyle choices. 

Which gene is responsible for hypermobility?

The simple answer is we don’t know. Many genes are responsible for hypermobility and researchers are slowly discovering what they are. 

What we do know is that hEDS is caused by mutations in the COL5A1 or COL5A2 genes. 

Marfan syndrome is another genetic condition that can cause hypermobility. The FBN1 gene is the cause of this condition.

T MIA3 gene has also been listed as another possible cause of hEDS. Polish researchers studied a mother and daughter with hypermobility and found they both had a variation of the MIA3 gene.

The SLC39A13 gene is another gene that may contributes to hypermobility. In one study, a child with spondylodysplastic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (spEDS) was revealed to have a mutation of the SLC39A13 gene. This gene works with protein to help zinc travel in cells. Connective tissue is rich in zinc, which is why the association was made by scientists.

In 2021, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) announced that they’d discovered the gene mutation that causes hEDS. Thorough tests were due to take place to confirm their findings. However, the university has yet to report further on this.

There’s still a lot of work to be done to determine the genes responsible for hypermobility. But one thing we do know is that it is a genetic condition. But rather than be concerned about this, be thankful that you’re surrounded by loved ones who understand and appreciate your diagnosis.

Sources:

https://bmcsportsscimedrehabil.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13102-016-0037

Author

  • Amy

    Amy lives with hypermobility spectrum disorder (HSD). She spent years not knowing what was wrong with her body, before eventually being diagnosed in her 30s. She has two young children - both of whom are hypermobile.