Stickler syndrome is caused by mutations in certain genes involved in the formation of collagen — one of the building blocks of many types of connective tissues. The type of collagen most commonly affected is that used to produce joint cartilage and the vitreous jelly found within the eyes.

If you have Stickler syndrome and your partner does not, the chances that you'll pass the condition on to each of your children is 50 percent. Rarely, people may develop Stickler syndrome without having an affected parent. In these cases, Stickler syndrome results from a random mutation in one of your genes.

Jan. 28, 2014