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Ballet Mom
07-17-2010, 12:16 AM
Some time back, I had mentioned that my daughter's compensatory curve had temporarily decreased while she was taking Solodyn, as shown by x-ray. Solodyn is an extended-release formula of minocycline, and has been shown to have much greater effect with its anti-inflammatory properties than just regular minocycline.

Interestingly enough, my daughter has finished a course of isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane), which is an extremely powerful acne medicine that was initially used for chemotherapy (and still is in some cases). It is not a medication that should be used lightly, in fact my daughter developed complications from its use (although the doctor who initially prescribed it to her gave her double the dose that should have been used for her weight which led to the complications- and he was a Stanford Medical School grad and top of his class in biochemistry!) and I actually regret having put her on the drug.

I read a research paper on isotretinoin that stated that after completing a course of this medication, there was a significant decrease in most inflammatory markers in the bloodstream of the people in the study. I believe one inflammatory marker increased (or at least stayed the same) if I remember correctly.

For any researchers that read this site, it is interesting that my daughter's compensatory curve has basically disappeared in her last x-ray. Is it related to the medication? I obviously don't know...but it makes me believe there may be some validity to Dingo's theories of bug or virus causation, or perhaps just the kind of inflammatory response individuals have. It seems to me it would be interesting to look into whether there was any sort of interaction.

Anyhow, just an interesting aside that I thought I would share for those people interested in the causes and possible cures of scoliosis.

Dingo
07-17-2010, 01:27 PM
BalletMom

That's really interesting!

Osteopontin is known to increase in response to infection. (Source (http://ajp.amjpathol.org/cgi/content/abstract/157/1/37))

So it's no surprise that Dr. Moreau recommended that children with Scoliosis should try to reduce their exposure to harmful pathogens. (Source (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10705))


Reducing exposure to mycobacteria could be a good way to reduce the risk and I would start by cleaning all shower heads in the house on a monthly basis or even changing them annually since they represent an important source of mycobacteria

Any treatment like Accutane probably wipes out a whole lot of pathogens that reside in the body. There is every reason to suspect that Accutane might have had something to do with your daugter's improvement.

Interestingly a lot of diseases that used to be thought of as genetic are now believed to be triggered by chronic infections.

For example new evidence supports the notion that Rheumatoid Arthritis might be triggered by a chronic infection in the digestive tract. (Source (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100617120716.htm))

I did some googling and sure enough doctors have been using antibiotics to treat RA for quite a while. They weren't exactly sure why it helped but most studies showed that it did. It looks like the may have their answer.

Here is what one arthritis clinic had to say about their experience with Rheumatoid arthritis and antibiotics. (Source (http://www.thearthritiscenter.com/arthritis_info.htm#Anchor-Antibiotics-35882))


Antibiotics for Rheumatoid Arthritis — Our Experience
In the past 13 years from January 1988-January 2000, we have treated over 1000 patients who have rheumatoid arthritis with antibiotics.


The results show that 78% of patients had a better than 20% improvement, and 53% had a better than 50% improvement. 22 % of the patients did not improve. Other findings were as follows:

1. The earlier the treatment is started in the course of the illness, the better the results.

2. The milder the disease, the better the response to the antibiotics.

3. The longer the duration of treatment, the greater the improvement.

4. The best responders were, on average, younger patients.

5. Frequently patients worsen initially for a few weeks before noticing improvement due to Herxheimer reaction.

6. The most effective antibiotics were Doxycycline, Minocycline, and Erythromycin.

7. Tetracycline, especially at low doses, was not as effective.

8. The incidence of side effects was minimal and usually mild, even in patients followed for several years.

Ballet Mom
07-18-2010, 09:55 AM
Hi Dingo!

Hope all goes well with your cute little boy! :-)

My eye is actually on the varicella virus as a likely cause. It infects most kids at the time scoliosis becomes most prevalent, it's known to reside dormant in the nerve cells of the spinal cord for life and can reactivate i.e. shingles.

At least, I think that could be a trigger for my daughter since she had that weird reaction from it for a few days, when she would have one leg up in grande battement in ballet class while all the other girls would have it down....and she didn't realize it. She thought she was doing it right and they must be wrong! Definite nervous system misfiring. She actually had one of the first chickenpox vaccinations and ended up getting a strange case of chickenpox anyway.

You'd think if chickenpox was the cause, that cases of scoliosis would be reducing due to the vaccine...so perhaps it was just what caused an inflammatory response for my daughter's case. Does anyone know if the number of scoliosis cases has been reducing in the US lately?

The other possibility I'm keying in on is perhaps scoliosis could be an auto-immune disorder from inflammatory response processes. My daughter has an excess inflammatory response to everything. Even bug bites I found out this summer.

Anyhow, it's all very exciting. If I was a researcher I would love to research what is causing scoliosis and looking for a cure and not just genetics that predispose people to it.

Ballet Mom
07-18-2010, 10:07 AM
Oh, I forgot to add....it's very interesting because Europe and the United States' medical professions also seem to be at odds on the use of isotretinoin (Accutane) as well as bracing.

Apparently Europe believes that the US prescribes way too high dosages of isotretinoin and causes unnecessary complications/side effects. The key is the higher the dose, the less likely to relapse. Unfortunately, the higher the dose the more toxic on the body. Isotretinoin is not an antibiotic, it is a form of high dose Vitamin A.

Anyhow, after my experience not only do I agree with Europe on bracing, I also agree with them on isotretinoin! Interesting differences in philosophies.

Dingo
07-18-2010, 11:33 AM
BalletMom


If I was a researcher I would love to research what is causing scoliosis and looking for a cure and not just genetics that predispose people to it.

You and me both. Fortunately the tide is turning.

This was from the NY Times a few weeks ago.

A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/health/research/13genome.html?_r=1)


One sign of the genome’s limited use for medicine so far was a recent test of genetic predictions for heart disease. A medical team led by Nina P. Paynter of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston collected 101 genetic variants that had been statistically linked to heart disease in various genome-scanning studies. But the variants turned out to have no value in forecasting disease among 19,000 women who had been followed for 12 years.

The old-fashioned method of taking a family history was a better guide, Dr. Paynter reported this February in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Heredity turns out to be a lousy predictor of disease... again. If genes don't cause heart disease what's doing it?

High Blood Pressure Could Be Caused By A Common Virus, Study Suggests (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514221915.htm)

Ouch!

I don't know if Scoliscore is a good test or not. But if recent history is any indication large studies might show that it's not that relevant.

Dingo
07-18-2010, 11:40 AM
Balletmom


Does anyone know if the number of scoliosis cases has been reducing in the US lately?

According to Dr. Douglas Kiester (source (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8948)) the rate of Scoliosis is dropping.


The natural incidence of scoliosis is falling.

According to Dr. Moreau the rate of infantile scoliosis is much higher in Europe than it is in America. (source (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10705))


In regards to infantile scoliosis, we do not know at this point since we did not yet test this form of scoliosis, as infantile scoliosis is such a rare disease in North America. In principle, the tests should work but we need to assess such possibilities in Europe where the cases are more frequent.

Here is a study that reviewed a Scoliosis outbreak in Jamaica.

Observations on idiopathic scoliosis aetiology and natural history in Jamaica (http://bases.bireme.br/cgi-bin/wxislind.exe/iah/online/?IsisScript=iah/iah.xis&src=google&base=MedCarib&lang=p&nextAction=lnk&exprSearch=5672&indexSearch=ID)


Thus, in Jamaica, there has been almost an epidemic of idiopathic scoliosis which started around 1963 and began to fall off after 1982.

All of this evidence supports an environmental cause.

Ballet Mom
07-18-2010, 12:20 PM
According to Dr. Douglas Kiester (source (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8948)) the rate of Scoliosis is dropping.




That's very interesting Dingo!


I also just looked up on the CDC website and it says this:


Varicella vaccine is a live virus vaccine, and may result in a latent infection, similar to that caused by wild varicella virus. Consequently, zoster in vaccinated persons has been reported.

I didn't realize that this vaccine was a live virus. It looks like the virus can still lay dormant in people, even with the vaccine! So this may account for some lessening of the rate of scoliosis, but may explain why many people are still getting it, (assuming that perhaps varicella might be a cause of scoliosis).

Dingo
07-18-2010, 06:25 PM
Balletmom

You are right. The environmental component could be chickenpox, or pretty much anything common to children.

The human body contains about 10 times as many bacteria as it does human cells. Sometimes it's the balance of bacteria that is the problem.

Bacteria as a Predicter of Colorectal Cancer (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525140956.htm)


"Our findings suggest that some bacterial signatures are more frequently detected in subjects with polyps, early lesions that can develop into cancer, while other bacterial signatures are less frequently observed in such individuals" says Tyler Culpepper, a researcher on the study.

In other cases the problem isn't a particular pathogen but the way that multiple pathogens work together. Evidently recurrent ear infections may result when different types of bacteria work together to defeat the immune system.
Bacterial Communication Encourages Chronic, Resistant Ear Infections (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706123021.htm)

This article talks about how wheat is destroyed by two harmful fungi.
Fungi's Genetic Sabotage in Wheat Discovered (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100713101414.htm)

These fungi know how to defeat a defense gene in wheat which in turn triggers an autoimmune disease. After they trigger the disease they eat the dead tissue.

People who think all of these common diseases of unknown origin are triggered by heredity don't read much. When it comes to young people it's hardly ever heredity.

Ballet Mom
07-19-2010, 04:09 PM
Your links are always interesting, Dingo.

I had just heard recently that there are more bugs than human cells in the human body! It was in a speech given by Dr. Francis Collins, head of NHS. I think I must have seen it on C-Span.

It's a little unnerving to think about. As he said (in effect), hopefully most of them have no harmful intent!

Dingo
07-19-2010, 06:38 PM
BalletMom


It's a little unnerving to think about. As he said (in effect), hopefully most of them have no harmful intent!

It's a safe bet that A LOT of these bugs are harmful or have the potential to become harmful. There is a whole lot of sickness in the world and it's not all caused by pollution and stress. And as bad as sickness is I have no doubt that parasites harm people in even stranger ways.

Various parasites have evolved the ability to take over the mind's of insects.

Exhibit A)
NatGeo: Parasitic Mind Control (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGSUU3E9ZoM)

Exhibit B)
NatGeo: Zombie Snails (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWB_COSUXMw)

Exhibit C)
Here is another creepy video. A species of parasite evolved the ability to take over crickets. It causes the cricket to find water, jump in and drown. Then it crawls out.
A worm comming out of a cricket (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df_iGe_JSzI)

There are a lot of mentally ill people in the world and humans certainly aren't immune to bugs. Some of this disease is probably caused by parasites that damage the brain to encourage specific behaviors that are beneficial to the parasite.

Sound crazy?

Well...

NPR.org: Sneaky Parasite Attracts Rats to Cats (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9560048)


When you see a cat pounce on a rat, it seems like a classic story about a predator and prey.

But scientists have recently discovered that sometimes the main actor is actually a tiny parasite in the rat's brain that makes the normally fearful rat think "oh how nice" when it smells a cat.

The parasite wants the rat to be caught by the cat because it needs to be in the cat's stomach to reproduce. New research sheds light on how this surprising little organism can manipulate a rodent to do its will.

hdugger
07-19-2010, 06:46 PM
There are a lot of mentally ill people in the world and humans certainly aren't immune to bugs. Some of this disease is probably caused by parasites that damage the brain to encourage specific behaviors that are beneficial to the parasite.


My favorite disease (and yes, epidemiologists are required to have a favorite disease :)), is rabies, which best transmits itself through blood to blood contact, and, thus, causes animals to bite.

mamamax
07-20-2010, 05:55 AM
Dingo, Ballet Mom & hdugger -

well, this answers everything ;-) I now have more material for paranoia than the recent Gulf Oil Spill has provided! Interesting that raw garlic seems to ward off most of the pathogens that have been discussed here. I haven't crossed the threshold that would find me wearing it, but it has become part of my daily diet - keeps my germaphobia at bay, therefore serving some additional psychological support. It's a buggie world, daily battle, and uphill fight - giving new meaning to the old adage, don't let the bed bugs bite! Can bed bugs (and the like) get rabies?

Dingo
07-20-2010, 08:50 AM
Hdugger

You are an epidemiologist? Right on!

hdugger
07-20-2010, 09:42 AM
Hdugger

You are an epidemiologist? Right on!

I trained to be an epidemiologist, and worked in the field for a few years, and then drifted back to the tech world.

So, I understood it once, but I'm not sure how fully I recall now :)

Ballet Mom
08-01-2010, 05:54 PM
BalletMom


Any treatment like Accutane probably wipes out a whole lot of pathogens that reside in the body. There is every reason to suspect that Accutane might have had something to do with your daugter's improvement.



Hi Dingo,

I was thinking along the lines of the anti-inflammatory properties of the drugs my daughter took helping possible inflammation in her spine. However, you may be right that the Accutane could have just wiped out whatever pathogen (if any) that may have been residing in her central nervous system.

I happened upon this:


Since Accutane is fat (lipid) soluble, it is one of the few drugs that is able to cross the blood brain barrier and get into the central nervous system.

Would I ever love to place some isotretinoin in a petrie dish with the chicken pox virus...and other possible candidates ...and see what happens! :)

Ballet Mom
08-14-2010, 01:01 PM
When my daughter was ten and eleven, her ballet teachers used to tell me that they expected great things from her. At twelve, she developed progressive scoliosis and any expectation of greatness fell apart. I have watched her for almost three years completely lose her balance and soundness in ballet. A truly heart-wrenching experience.

Until last December, I could watch my daughter performing a penchee ( http://www.abt.org/education/dictionary/terms/penche.html ) and her supporting foot and ankle would just wobble back and forth and she would be unable to hold her other leg up. Her ballet teachers were obviously quite frustrated as by this age all other students in the class could perform it perfectly.

This summer, after the accutane and also probably close to the end of her growth spurt, she is rock solid in ballet. It has been an amazing transformation. She can do everything now including a beautiful penchee en pointe (on her toes). According to her, three artistic directors from three major foreign ballet companies have paid close attention to her during class at her summer intensive. She is thrilled and so am I.

I have no idea if the accutane has had anything to do with this transformation, but I think there are enough things jumping up and down screaming "notice me" that has occurred recently, that I am going to write a letter to Dr. Collins at NIH describing my daughter's experience and suggesting maybe a study to see if there's anything to it. Hopefully with his background he might actually be interested and he certainly has the power to start a study. At least I won't have left this very interesting sequence of events to be buried in the e-dust of this site and no one following up on it.

Interestingly enough, because the makers of accutane have recently been losing major lawsuits regarding the safety of their drug, a study has come out testing a "safer" version of accutane. It would be a wonderful confluence of events if a safer version of accutane coincided with a study for scoliosis.

Anyhow, nothing may come of it, but I shall do my part to help in the research of possible cures for scoliosis. It's certainly worth a shot anyway.

mamamax
08-15-2010, 08:03 AM
Was this coincidence or something more? There was an oral presentation at SOSORT 2005 that makes me wonder.

From: The association between IL-6 and MMP-3 gene polymorphisms and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a case-control study (http://scoliosisjournal.com/content/4/S1/O1)




Background

The nucleus pulposus of scoliotic discs respond to exogenous stimuli by secreting interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other inflammatory cytokines. The association between matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and disc degeneration has been reported by several investigators. A human MMP-3 promoter 5A/6A gene polymorphism regulates MMP-3 genes expression, while the G/C polymorphism of the promoter region of IL-6 gene influences levels and functional activity of the IL-6 protein.

Methods

We conducted a case-control study to investigate whether the 5A/6A polymorphism of the MMP-3 gene and the G/C polymorphism of the promoter region of IL-6 gene were associated with the susceptibility to develop AIS.

Results

The frequency of the 5A/5A genotype of MMP-3 gene polymorphism in patients with scoliosis was almost 3 times higher than in controls (30.2% vs. 11.2%, P 0.001). The frequency of the G/G genotype of IL-6 gene polymorphism in patients with scoliosis was almost 2 times higher than in controls (52.8% vs. 26.2%, P < 0.001). 5A/5A genotype of MMP-3 gene polymorphism and G/G genotype of IL-6 gene polymorphism are independently associated with a higher risk of scoliosis (odds ratio, respectively, 3.34 and 10.54).

Conclusion

This is the first study performed to evaluate the possibility that gene variants of IL-6 and MMPs may be associated with scoliosis. This study suggests that MMP-3 and IL-6 promoter polymorphisms constitute important factors in the genetic predisposition to scoliosis.

mamamax
08-15-2010, 08:58 AM
I had to look that one up! From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exogeny

Of course, this is leading back to all things Dingo :D




In biology, an exogenous factor is any material that is present and active in an individual organism or living cell but that originated outside of that organism, as opposed to an endogenous factor.

* Exogenous factors in medicine include both pathogens and therapeutics.
* DNA introduced to cells via transfection or viral infection (transduction) is an exogenous factor.
* Carcinogens are exogenous factors.

Dingo
08-15-2010, 11:43 AM
The nucleus pulposus of scoliotic discs respond to exogenous stimuli by secreting interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other inflammatory cytokines.

I have to admit that on a technical level this is way over my head. But theoretically speaking it makes perfect sense.

For example a gene that protects the body from the flu virus may make it more susceptible to a cold virus.

In this case genes may increase the secretion of inflammatory cytokines. This may protect the body from some diseases but increase the likelihood of other diseases like Scoliosis. In certain environments that may be a smart trade off because the Scoliosis trigger is uncommon or rare. That's how nature works.

If scientists could determine what the environmental trigger was they could probably eliminate it with a vaccine or some other measure.

Ballet Mom
08-15-2010, 01:33 PM
Thanks mamamax, you are awesome! You are really diligent!

I think there has to be an inflammatory response in scoliosis, because as Dingo has pointed out, osteopontin is greatly increased in scoliosis which is a part of the inflammatory process in humans. Perhaps your study is pointing out part of that inflammatory process!

I think in my daughter's case, it still seems likely that there was some organism or inflammation independent of the causes in your study because she would still have the inflammation indicated in this study going on due to the fact that she still has a major structural curve of 29 degrees. But even though she still has the curve, all the instability in ballet has completely disappeared...directly after her use of accutane. It just seems too closely related to the accutane use to be something else. Of course, maybe the accutane really did affect and modify the inflammatory response directly...who knows?!

If it turned out that accutane had some effect, it might open up other areas of research because I think Dingo pointed out that Alzheimers may possibly be caused by the herpes simplex virus (perhaps residing in the spinal ganglia). And how many oldtimers have been treated with accutane during their descent into dementia? None? Probably.

I think it could be an exciting avenue of research...but who knows...I will just write my letter and hope it interests somebody at NIH.

Dingo
08-15-2010, 06:34 PM
The nature of chronic urinary tract infections tells us a lot about chronic infection in general.

Sciencedaily: Immune System Overreaction May Enable Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100812172050.htm)


Researchers showed in mice that severe inflammatory responses to an initial UTI cause bladder damage and allow infection to persist longer. After one to two weeks of infection, the bladder wall undergoes additional changes that leave mice more vulnerable to later infection.


"Chronic bacterial cystitis is an infection that is actively reproducing, has established a persistent and significant foothold in the host's bladder and has prompted a sustained response from the immune system," says Hannan, a research instructor in pathology and immunology. "Despite all this, the infection is still well-tolerated by the mice."

This phenomenon may be associated with heart disease (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514221915.htm), autoimmunity (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100304165900.htm) and many other common health problems like Alzheimers Disease (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207134109.htm) (thanks for reminding me BalletMom). I wouldn't be surprised if chronic infections were ultimately connected to other diseases like Acne and Scoliosis. Dr. Moreau recently mentioned that exposure to harmful bacteria may be a factor in curve progression. (Source (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=10705))

This is nothing new to the scientific community. In the 1980s scientists proved that Peptic ulcers were caused by chronic infection with H Pylori (http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/) and could be easily treated with antibiotics. Research also suggests that heredity plays a role in susceptability to ulcers.

Epidemiology and genetics of peptic ulcer. (http://grande.nal.usda.gov/ibids/index.php?mode2=detail&origin=ibids_references&therow=550216)

Three lines of evidence support a genetic role: family studies, twin studies and blood group studies. Family aggregation occurs more commonly in patients with early-onset (less than 30 yr) of symptoms.


The best physiological marker is still hyperpepsinogenemia I, which is transmitted by autosomal dominance, despite recent report of lower serum pepsinogen 1 after healing of Helicobacter pylori associated gastritis.

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 09:30 AM
Look at this study! And Parkinson's like illnesses run in my family too! Could the same thing be going on in scoliosis? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10956490



The immune system may have a key role in the development of Parkinson's disease, say US researchers.

In a 20-year study of 4,000 people, half with Parkinson's disease, the team found an association between genes controlling immunity and the condition.

The results raise the possibility of new targets for drug development, Nature Genetics reports.

Parkinson's UK said the study strengthened the idea that immunity is an important driver of the disease.

The team were not just looking for a genetic cause of the disease, but also considered clinical and environmental factors.

/
/

Inflammation

Multiple sclerosis has already been shown to be associated with the same HLA genetic variant seen in the latest study in Parkinson's disease, the researchers said.

It was already known that people who take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, have a decreased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, which also supports the idea that the immune system has a role in the disease.

But this protective effect is not the same for everyone, probably because of genetic differences.

With better understanding of the link between Parkinson's disease, immunity and inflammation, it may be possible to design more effective drugs for treating the condition, the researchers said.

"Over the years, there have been subtle hints that immune function might be linked to Parkinson's disease," said study leader Dr Cyrus Zabetian, associate professor of neurology at the University of Washington.

Dingo
08-16-2010, 10:09 AM
Ballet Mom

Great links on Parkinsons and immunity. When Dr. Moreau mentioned that harmful bacteria might be connected to Scoliosis it probably shocked a lot of mothers who thought their kids had a genetic disease. Believe me, in the scientific community it was no surprise at all. That's where a lot of things are headed.

Even Autism is being traced back to inflammation and immunity.

Autistic kids have inflamed brains (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/11/16/1244691.htm)

"These findings reinforce the theory that immune activation in the brain is involved in autism, although it is not yet clear whether it is destructive or beneficial, or both, to the developing brain," said Assistant Professor Carlos Pardo-Villamizar of Johns Hopkins, who led the study.

Mother's flu could lead to mental illnesses (http://www.news.com.au/mothers-flu-could-lead-to-mental-illnesses/story-e6frfkp9-1111113964576?from=public_rss)

WOMEN who catch the flu during pregnancy are up to seven times more likely to have a child with schizophrenia - and scientists believe they have finally figured out why. A rogue protein, interleukin 6 - produced when a pregnant woman is fighting a viral infection - may help trigger mental illnesses such as autism and schizophrenia in the child, US neuroscientist Paul Patterson said yesterday.

Narcolepsy too.

Immune fault 'link' to narcolepsy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8025662.stm)

Dr Mignot said: "Narcolepsy is probably the result of a series of unfortunate events, starting with genetic predisposition, involvement of an environmental trigger such as an infection, then T-cell activation, then effects on many other arms of the immune system."

Very few children are genetically programmed to become sick because natural selection wouldn't allow it. When a child becomes sick something bad happened to him or her. Most people don't realize it's that simple.

skevimc
08-16-2010, 12:59 PM
The MMP-3 thing is kind of neat. I'd like to track that down a bit more.

I want to issue a small word of caution about inflammation and what role it might play in scoliosis. I know you all are just chatting about links that you're finding but an increased amount of inflammatory cytokines in a patient population doesn't necessarily imply causation. Inflammation is also responsible for triggering good things in our body as well. In fact, an increase in IL-6 has also been shown after exercise. It's thought that the rise in IL-6 levels trigger the response of several anti-inflammatory cytokines as well as various growth factors. So as you read through things, just remember that something that initially sounds bad, like inflammation, might not be as bad as it sounds.

Just my words of caution from the research side of things. :)

Dingo
08-16-2010, 01:13 PM
Skevimc


So as you read through things, just remember that something that initially sounds bad, like inflammation, might not be as bad as it sounds.

You are 100% correct. Humans wouldn't have genes that programmed for inflammation if it wasn't useful. From my reading it's the downside of chronic or acute inflammation that has the potential to cause serious health problems.

A piston in an engine is very useful... until it slams through the cylinder head because you ran out of oil. :)

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 01:51 PM
Very interesting! Looks like I'm a little behind the times...go figure! :D

Accutane or isotretinoin is a retinoid. I guess maybe I need to contact some of these researchers and let them know and maybe they can expand their research to scoliosis! I really believe there must be a relation to what has happened with my daughter and her treatment with isotretinoin.

http://www.bentham.org/car/openaccssearticles/car6-3/014AT.pdf



Towards Retinoid Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

Conclusion:
/
Retinoids are required for the maintenance of the immune
systems, and are very potent immunomodulators. They
suppressively regulate various autoimmune disease states,
and being different from simple immunosuppresants, work
physiologically even when applied at high pharmacological
concentrations.

Retinoids are essential in the regeneration of neural cells
and other tissues. Development of retinoids that are highly
selective for individual RARs may contribute to the treatment
of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Recently
there came out a review emphasizing significant roles of
retinoids for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as
ALS, AD and schizophrenia [153]. We did not cover RXRs
and RXR ligands here, though these may have a role in increasing
the selectivity of retinoids, and they seem to have
important roles in mental activities such as sleep regulation,
reward-related behaviors [154-158].

Retinoids were suggested long ago to have potential for
the therapy of various proliferative diseases [159]. Some
applications have been realized, and our task now is to extend
the range of applications to neurodegenerative diseases,
including AD.

I'm editing to add this bit also...very interesting:

Infection could be a cause for breakdown of immune
system and trigger autoimmune diseases. There is a hypothesis
that AD is an autoimmune disease caused by an infection,
but others have doubted a role of viral or other infection
[104-106]. The role of infection with herpes simplex, spirochetes,
and chlamydophila in AD has recently been reviewed
[67, 107-109]. A role of infection would be consistent with a
recent report that a group of ALS patients showed an extremely
high frequency of systemic mycoplasmal infections
[110].

Various routes of infection, such as gut, nasal, skin and
lung, involving viruses, bacteria, specific proteins and
chemical substances have been discussed. The olfactory vector
hypothesis is that xenobiotics, including viruses and toxins,
immunologically pull the trigger leading to neurodegeneration
[106, 111]. This hypothesis is supported by the finding
that olfactory dysfunction is a risk factor for PD and AD
[111-113]. The normal differentiation and regeneration of
olfactory-related cells are also regulated by retinoic acid, and
vitamin A therapy in animals with olfactory system damage
can accelerate functional recovery through RARs and retinoid
X receptors (RXRs): retinoic acid supports the integrity
of the olfactory system throughout life [114, 115]. The maintenance
of olfactory function by retinoid may be preventive
for the disease. Pathogens may elicit an autoimmune response
without persistence of the initiating agent, environmental
factors and nutrition being critical determinants of the
onset.

REGENERATION OF NEURAL CELLS
A possible approach to neurodegeneration is neural stem
cell therapy. It is now well established that cells in the central
nervous system can regenerate under certain conditions.
Advances in techniques to isolate and manipulate neural
stem cells offer new scope for functional recovery after central
nervous system injuries.

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 02:00 PM
Here's another fairly recent article:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070614151809.htm

Potential Role For Retinoic Acid In Autoimmune And Inflammatory Diseases Identified

ScienceDaily (June 18, 2007) — An important finding, which could eventually lead to a new therapeutic approach for treating autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, psoriasis and others, was announced today by researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI). The studies, conducted in laboratory mice, demonstrated the role of retinoic acid, a substance derived when Vitamin A is broken down in the body, in regulating inflammation.

In these studies, published in the journal Science, the LIAI researchers showed that by manipulating the amount of retinoic acid in mice, they could affect the number of pro-inflammatory T cells, a type of white blood cell responsible for several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The finding is an important first step that, if eventually found to be true in humans, points to the potential of a new avenue of therapies using retinoic acid to treat these diseases.

"What's exciting about this finding is they've found that retinoic acid plays a role in modulating the switch between these two distinct (T cell) lineages -- the induced regulatory T cells, which are anti-inflammatory, and the TH-17 lineage, which promotes inflammatory responses, " said Casey Weaver, M.D., a University of Alabama, Birmingham, professor and prominent immunology researcher, who was key in the discovery of TH-17 in 2005.

Further, Dr. Weaver said, the LIAI researchers had developed a "mechanism by which you can prevent the development of the (inflammatory) lineage. This is very exciting because it provides a potential pharmacological application for this finding."

The LIAI team tested three approaches with retinoic acid. In one model, they injected the mice with retinoic acid, essentially giving them more of the substance than they would have through normal body processes. This suppressed the formation of pro-inflammatory T cells in the intestines of the mice, demonstrating that increases in retinoic acid reduced inflammation. In another approach, designed to test how reducing retinoic acid would affect inflammation, the team used an inhibitor to block retinoic acid in the mice.

This led to the decrease of anti-inflammatory T cells, showing that reducing retinoic acid increased inflammation. In a third, particularly exciting approach, the scientists treated T cells with retinoic acid in a test tube. When put back into the mice, these T cells prevented the formation of inflammatory T cells in the mice. This is especially noteworthy because combining the retinoic acid and T cells outside the body may avoid possible side effects that are more likely when scientists attempt to manipulate body processes internally.

"We found that you can control inflammation in a living animal with retinoic acid or you can treat cells with retinoic acid in a test tube and transfer them to the organism to suppress inflammation in vivo," said Dr. Cheroutre. "This may offer an important new avenue for treatment of autoimmune diseases like colitis and rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory diseases, as well as potentially providing a mechanism for the control of graft rejections, where you don't want the immune system to attack the grafted tissue."

The finding was published in a paper entitled "Reciprocal Th-17 and regulatory T cell differentiation mediated by retinoic acid." Hilde Cheroutre, Ph.D., led the research team, entirely from LIAI, in which Daniel Mucida, Ph.D., and Yunji Park, Ph.D., were key contributors.

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 02:31 PM
Oh my gosh, this is just endlessly fascinating! I love the internet! I think La Jolla is where it's all happening...need to write them.

Perhaps retinoids are involved in congenital types of scoliosis also:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235195/


Retinoic acid (RA), the active form of vitamin A, plays a crucial role in stimulating nuclear receptor signaling during development. However, the developmental processes regulated by RA signaling are not well understood. This is pointed out by the recent discovery that RA controls left–right patterning during somitogenesis (Kawakami et al., 2005; Vermot et al., 2005; Vermot and Pourquié, 2005; Sirbu and Duester, 2006), a function that was totally unsuspected based upon what was known about RA function up to that point. These findings suggest that defective RA signaling may be responsible for human birth defects of the vertebral column, a topic which is discussed further below.
/
/
The discovery that RA is required for synchronous left–right development of somites indicates that RA is required to generate a bilaterally symmetrical spinal column (Kawakami et al., 2005; Vermot et al., 2005; Vermot and Pourquié, 2005; Sirbu and Duester, 2006). RA-deficient mouse embryos are unable to undergo axial turning to achieve the normal fetal position (Vermot et al., 2005; Sirbu and Duester, 2006). Administration of RA maternally to RA-deficient mouse embryos restores normal axial turning and normal spinal column development (Sirbu and Duester, 2006). These studies thus provide evidence that a loss of RA synthesis during gestation causes spinal column birth defects, but that normal development can be restored by supplying an exogenous source of RA.These findings have implications for understanding the etiology of human spinal column birth defects. This may include birth defects such as scoliosis, an abnormal left–right bending of the vertebral column (Kane, 1977). Idiopathic scoliosis (scoliosis of unknown cause) is the most common type, accounting for 85% of all cases (Reamy and Slakey, 2001). Idiopathic scoliosis is present in 2–4% of children, and about 4 out of 1000 children develop spinal curves large enough to require treatment (Kane, 1977; Reamy and Slakey, 2001). Since scoliosis can run in families, some cases may be the result of a genetic defect (Miller, 1999; Sturm et al., 2001). Scoliosis may be caused by skeletal birth defects that result in hemivertebrae, whereby the left or right side of a vertebra fails to develop normally before birth (McMaster and David, 1986). As most individuals with hemivertebra have additional congenital abnormalities (cranial, cardiac, renal, intestinal, and skeletal) (Goldstein et al., 2005), the underlying defect could be a reduction in RA signaling, which is known to be required for development of all these tissues (Lohnes et al., 1994; Mendelsohn et al., 1994). Thus, either maternal vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy or an embryonic defect in metabolism of vitamin A to RA might be associated with increased risk of human vertebral defects.

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 02:59 PM
When Dr. Moreau mentioned that harmful bacteria might be connected to Scoliosis it probably shocked a lot of mothers who thought their kids had a genetic disease. Believe me, in the scientific community it was no surprise at all. That's where a lot of things are headed.



Dingo, very interesting links, especially the autism one.

Do you know if Dr. Moreau is doing research on specific drugs that might help scoliosis since he seems to view scoliosis as not just a genetic disease? Would he be interested in the possible retinoid aspect at all? Or maybe he already is researching it?

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 03:02 PM
The MMP-3 thing is kind of neat. I'd like to track that down a bit more.

I want to issue a small word of caution about inflammation and what role it might play in scoliosis. I know you all are just chatting about links that you're finding but an increased amount of inflammatory cytokines in a patient population doesn't necessarily imply causation. Inflammation is also responsible for triggering good things in our body as well. In fact, an increase in IL-6 has also been shown after exercise. It's thought that the rise in IL-6 levels trigger the response of several anti-inflammatory cytokines as well as various growth factors. So as you read through things, just remember that something that initially sounds bad, like inflammation, might not be as bad as it sounds.

Just my words of caution from the research side of things. :)

Thanks for the words of caution, skevimc. We have actually discussed in the past that the inflammatory response is good, until it goes out of control. I think it was when we were talking about osteopontin as part of the inflammatory response in humans. i.e. Osteopontin is a good thing until it goes out of control? Anyhow, it's all just an absolutely fascinating field. I really wish I had majored in something different at this point in my life. I wish I could research this!

Dingo
08-16-2010, 03:11 PM
Ballet Mom

HOLY MACKERAL!!!!!

Could you recap what happened to your daughter's curve after she started accutane and antibiotics? Please contact the researchers in La Jolla and tell them your story.


Administration of RA maternally to RA-deficient mouse embryos restores normal axial turning and normal spinal column development

Vitamin A deficiency may (or may not) be the cause of Scoliosis, but maybe Retinoids can treat it. Wow, those are some amazing links.

It's my understanding that Dr. Moreau is working on medicine to treat Scoliosis. I'm not sure what his approach is.

I believe at least two other teams of scientists are experimenting with Tamoxifen (a breast cancer drug) to create a treatment for Scoliosis.
The Effect of Calmodulin Antagonists on Experimental Scoliosis: A Pinealectomized Chicken Model (http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2009/03150/The_Effect_of_Calmodulin_Antagonists_on.2.aspx)

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 03:54 PM
Ballet Mom

HOLY MACKERAL!!!!!

Could you recap what happened to your daughter's curve after she started accutane and antibiotics? Please contact the researchers in La Jolla and tell them your story.

Vitamin A deficiency may (or may not) be the cause of Scoliosis, but maybe Retinoids can treat it. Wow, those are some amazing links.



Yes, I will definitely include these researchers in the letter I write...anyone I can find interested in scoliosis and retinoid research.

It seems somehow very fitting that these researchers are in La Jolla...that's where Dr. Vert Mooney (and perhaps skevimc?) of your torso rotational exercise studies had his facilities. :D

Dingo
08-16-2010, 08:31 PM
Ballet Mom

Could you recap your experience with antibiotics and Accutane for us?

Ballet Mom
08-16-2010, 11:11 PM
Ballet Mom

Could you recap your experience with antibiotics and Accutane for us?

Oh, sorry Dingo. I thought you were asking if I could recap what happened for the researchers in La Jolla!

I won't be able to get to it tonight...but I'll try sometime tomorrow.

Ballet Mom
08-17-2010, 11:20 PM
Okay, here's a quick recap of my daughter's interesting experience with antibiotics and isotretinoin. It's going to be really quick though because I am really on the fly this week and most of the information can be found in the archives here if someone really wanted the information.

During my daughter's treatment for scoliosis (which consisted of wearing a Charleston Bending Brace at night and when she outgrew that, a custom-made night-time brace similar to a Providence), she had developed a serious case of acne. She was started on antibiotics after trying the prescription topical arsenal for quite some time.

I noticed that when she had been switched to Solodyn, which is an extended release formula of Minocycline, after about three months of use, she had an x-ray taken at her regular orthopedic check. I noticed at the time that her compensatory curve had diminished in size. I don't remember how much, and I don't have time to check with the x-rays...but I think I mentioned it in the archives...but it was quite noticeable. She stopped taking the Solodyn at three months because it didn't work anymore for her and I believe her curve reverted by the next x-ray.

What's especially interesting about this and the tie-in with isotretinoin is that I was just now looking to pull up an article that I read at that time that said something to the effect that Solodyn was a many times more powerful anti-inflammatory than regular Minocycline for some reason...even though it's just an extended release version. I couldn't find it but I did pull up this information about Minocycline in general (Sound familiar to the retinoids studies? I think so!!!) :


Minocycline and other tetracycline derivatives have neuroprotective effects unrelated to their antimicrobial properties. Minocycline has the greatest permeability of all tetracyclines through the blood-brain barrier and is well suited for treatment of CNS disorders.

Minocycline can reduce neuronal death after excitotoxicity and ionizing radiation in culture6-7 and in animal models of stroke7-9, Parkinson's disease10-11, Huntington's disease12, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis13. The neuroprotective effects of minocycline have been attributed both to reduced inflammation and a direct effect on neuronal survival.

http://www.emedexpert.com/facts/minocycline-facts.shtml


Current research is examining the possible neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of minocycline against progression of a group of neurodegenerative disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease, and Parkinsons disease.[14][15][16][17]

In the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Chris Zink, Janice Clements, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University reported that minocycline may exhibit neuroprotective action against AIDS Dementia Complex by inhibiting macrophage inflammation and HIV replication in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid.[18] Minocycline may suppress viral replication by reducing T cell activation.[19] The neuroprotective action of minocycline may include its inhibitory effect on 5-lipoxygenase,[20] an inflammatory enzyme associated with brain aging, and the antibiotic is being studied for use in Alzheimer's disease patients.[21] Minocycline may also exert neuroprotective effects independent of its anti-inflammatory properties.[22] Minocycline also has been used as a "last ditch" treatment for toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients. Minocycline is neuroprotective in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease and has been recently shown to stabilize the course of Huntington's disease in humans over a 2-year period.

As an anti-inflammatory, minocycline inhibits apoptosis (cell death) via attenuation of TNF-alpha, downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokine output. This effect is mediated by a direct action of minocycline on the activated T cells and on microglia, which results in the decreased ability of T cells to contact microglia which impairs cytokine production in T cell-microglia signal transduction .[23] Minocycline also inhibits microglial activation, through blockade of NF-kappa B nuclear translocation.

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Minocycline

Anyhow, nothing worked for her acne, so the day before Christmas she started on isotretinoin (Accutane). She developed complications including breathing and weakness difficulties in ballet and her white blood cell count decreased dramatically and she contracted RSV from her pediatrician during her low immune state (he told us this) and others I won't mention. This was due to being placed on a dose double the amount she should have been for her weight, even though she didn't have chest or back acne which would have allowed for a slightly upped dosage.

I took her off the isotretinoin for five weeks and she proceeded again at half the dose with a new dermatologist and finished the course in June without additional side effects.

At her June orthopedic appt, her lower curve had basically gone away. There's a slight "curve" but basically, her x-ray now looks like one major structural curve instead of two curves.

My daughter is now significantly improved in ballet from December and continues to improve greatly. She had been very unstable and unable to lift her legs high in her extensions or her arabesques or penchees. In her June performance, I was shocked how much she had improved because I had stopped watching her because it had become too hard for me to watch.

Coincidence? I certainly don't think so. I really think these drugs that are able to permeate the blood-brain barrier really positively affected her scoliosis. I think the retinoids are especially a class that needs to be researched especially from that study that I linked that states: "These studies thus provide evidence that a loss of RA (Retinoic Acid) synthesis during gestation causes spinal column birth defects, but that normal development can be restored by supplying an exogenous source of RA." The retinoids seem to have great potential to be a possible treatment of scoliosis.

Also, my daughter's rotation has improved throughout the course of her treatment. Is it due to ballet and stretching? Or due to the drugs she's been taking? I don't know..but the reduction in the amount of rotation has been impressive and therefore the reduction in deformity has been pretty dramatic, I think.

Anyhow, hope that helps. I really hope my daughter's experience causes someone to be interested in researching the retinoids as a possible treatment for scoliosis.

mamamax
08-18-2010, 06:47 PM
Ballet Mom -

I think it is wonderful that you are writing to Dr. Collins at NIH about this. It does not seem like such a coincidence to me - and it will be good to hear what he may say about this. As a sidebar - I've had cause to be on antibiotics, and when I was ... my back always felt much better. A curious thing.

mamamax
08-18-2010, 07:06 PM
The MMP-3 thing is kind of neat. I'd like to track that down a bit more.

<snip>

In fact, an increase in IL-6 has also been shown after exercise. It's thought that the rise in IL-6 levels trigger the response of several anti-inflammatory cytokines as well as various growth factors.

I was thinking of what you had to say here while reading some information found at: http://www.schroth-skoliosebehandlung.de/what_is_scoliosis.php

Looking at the picture attached along with the text:




The greater the spinal deviations from the body's centerline, the longer the
corresponding muscles become and thus lose their thickness (diameter) and elasticity, and become slack and finally inactive. They lose their holding function.

The structural changes described above are only possible because the muscles permit them to take place. The muscles shorten or lengthen depending on which direction the trunk shifts and twists. That is, the lateral and posterior torso shifts can only occur when the corresponding structural muscles yield and lengthen.

Makes me wonder - could the body with scoliosis be in a constant state of "exercise" in the attempt to try and hold the spine straight in even the simplest of daily activities - causing readings similar to those without scoliosis following exercise?

mamamax
08-18-2010, 07:24 PM
I have to admit that on a technical level this is way over my head. But theoretically speaking it makes perfect sense.

For example a gene that protects the body from the flu virus may make it more susceptible to a cold virus.

In this case genes may increase the secretion of inflammatory cytokines. This may protect the body from some diseases but increase the likelihood of other diseases like Scoliosis. In certain environments that may be a smart trade off because the Scoliosis trigger is uncommon or rare. That's how nature works.

If scientists could determine what the environmental trigger was they could probably eliminate it with a vaccine or some other measure.


Dingo - just some more "finds" for the file ... man, it never ends!

Susceptibility of host
Most humans are not easily infected. Organisms usually cause infections in people who are weak, sick, malnourished, have cancer, are diabetic or are immuno-suppressed. Individuals who have a suppressed immune system are quickly over powered by the organisms. The majority of chronic or persistent infections occur in individuals who have poor defense mechanism(s).

Occult infection
An occult infection is medical terminology for a "hidden" infection, that is, one which presents no symptoms. Dr. Fran Giampietro discovered this type, and coined the term "occult infection" in the late 1930s. Another word for an infection with no symptoms is "asymptomatic" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infection






Infections during pregnancy. * Infectious diseases caused by viruses, such as toxoplasmosis, rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, and herpes, can infect the womb and placenta.* Researchers currently think that maternal infection leads to elevated levels of immune system cells called cytokines that circulate in the brain and blood of the fetus.* Cytokines respond to infection by triggering inflammation.* Inflammation may then go on to cause central nervous system damage in an unborn baby.* Maternal fever during pregnancy or delivery can also set off this kind of inflammatory response. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_palsy/detail_cerebral_palsy.htm


Inflammation may be considered a homeostatic response designed to destroy or inactivate invading pathogens, remove waste and debris, and permit restoration of normal function, either through resolution or repair. Tissue structure is normal after resolution, whereas repair leads to a functional, but morphologically altered, organ. In acute inflammation, tissue damage is followed by resolution, whereas in chronic inflammation, damage and repair continue concurrently. The initial inflammatory response is usually acute, and may or may not evolve into chronic inflammation. However, chronic inflammation is not always preceded by an acute phase. Although usually beneficial to the organism, inflammation itself may lead to tissue damage, resulting in escalation of chronic inflammation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC128891/


Cytokines are immune system modulators produced by cells throughout the body. Cytokines communicate with your brain, sounding the alarm when they detect an intruder. A subclass of cytokines called leukotrienes (or interleukins) ensures that the immune response is checked before it destroys outlying healthy cells and tissue. Importantly, they call off the inflammatory response. If you have overactive leukotrienes, your body can lose control of the process — white blood cells begin to digest healthy tissue, causing excessive damage and scarring, a common symptom in many autoimmune disorders. http://www.womentowomen.com/inflammation/proinflammatoryhormones.aspx

skevimc
08-18-2010, 07:43 PM
I was thinking of what you had to say here while reading some information found at: http://www.schroth-skoliosebehandlung.de/what_is_scoliosis.php

Looking at the picture attached along with the text:




The greater the spinal deviations from the body's centerline, the longer the
corresponding muscles become and thus lose their thickness (diameter) and elasticity, and become slack and finally inactive. They lose their holding function.

The structural changes described above are only possible because the muscles permit them to take place. The muscles shorten or lengthen depending on which direction the trunk shifts and twists. That is, the lateral and posterior torso shifts can only occur when the corresponding structural muscles yield and lengthen.

Makes me wonder - could the body with scoliosis be in a constant state of "exercise" in the attempt to try and hold the spine straight in even the simplest of daily activities - causing readings similar to those without scoliosis following exercise?

I'd need to think about that a bit more. My initial thoughts and one thing I think is wrong with the figure/rationale is that they are claiming that the concave side muscles are stronger and the convex are trying to keep up by constantly resisting. This was a common dogma for along time and still might be. I personally do not believe this to be the case and think the rotational studies support my views. Although I admit that trunk rotations are a very complex interaction of a large number of muscles so a definitive answer to this will be hard.

Regardless, I do agree with the idea that certain muscles become atrophied and the only reason for this is that the muscles aren't being worked, i.e. the muscle is healthy it just isn't firing for some reason. And generally it is correct that if the joint is making a movement, then the appropriate muscles are firing. However, I think the spine has a lot of muscular redundancy so the assumption that the correct muscles are firing might not be accurate.

Dingo
08-19-2010, 09:14 AM
Skevimc


My initial thoughts and one thing I think is wrong with the figure/rationale is that they are claiming that the concave side muscles are stronger and the convex are trying to keep up by constantly resisting. This was a common dogma for along time and still might be. I personally do not believe this to be the case and think the rotational studies support my views.

I know this is a complicated problem so maybe I don't understand (always possible). But didn't your study find a difference in rotational strength?

Trunk rotational strength asymmetry in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: an observational study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072936/)


Conclusion: This preliminary study measured trunk rotational strength in a group of adolescent healthy females and a group of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis females. Scoliosis patients were significantly weaker when rotating towards the concavity of the spinal curve in the neutral position and when pre-rotated 18° and 36° toward the concavity and then contracting towards the concavity, i.e. away from neutral, termed "low force". In contrast, the healthy group did not show weakness in the low force arc. In addition, low force arc trunk strengths on the concave side in scoliotic individuals were also significantly lower than those on the left side in the healthy subjects. These finding may help future researchers develop effective new approaches for the management of idiopathic scoliosis.

Ballet Mom
08-19-2010, 09:53 AM
[INDENT][INDENT][INDENT][LIST]
Infections during pregnancy. * Infectious diseases caused by viruses, such as toxoplasmosis, rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, and herpes, can infect the womb and placenta.* Researchers currently think that maternal infection leads to elevated levels of immune system cells called cytokines that circulate in the brain and blood of the fetus.* Cytokines respond to infection by triggering inflammation.* Inflammation may then go on to cause central nervous system damage in an unborn baby.* Maternal fever during pregnancy or delivery can also set off this kind of inflammatory response.

I have always been worried that my son was negatively affected by the terrible infection I had when I was pregnant with him...obviously not one of these horribly damaging infections that you have listed...but enough to explain a lot about my son... :D



Cytokines are immune system modulators produced by cells throughout the body. Cytokines communicate with your brain, sounding the alarm when they detect an intruder. A subclass of cytokines called leukotrienes (or interleukins) ensures that the immune response is checked before it destroys outlying healthy cells and tissue. Importantly, they call off the inflammatory response. If you have overactive leukotrienes, your body can lose control of the process — white blood cells begin to digest healthy tissue, causing excessive damage and scarring, a common symptom in many autoimmune disorders.

From my reading this appears to be a hot, hot field of research. Hope they come out with some amazing finds that could help a lot of people.

Dingo
08-19-2010, 01:38 PM
Once again some great links Mamamax

Ballet Mom

I have always been worried that my son was negatively affected by the terrible infection I had when I was pregnant with him...obviously not one of these horribly damaging infections that you have listed...but enough to explain a lot about my son...

If your kid is healthy don't sweat it. :)

However it's certainly true that infection during pregnancy can lead to serious mental or physical illness.

Herpes Virus Link To Preterm Birth And High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm)


Their work demonstrates, for the first time, that exposure to viral infection -- especially viruses of the herpes group -- may be associated with pregnancy-induced hypertensive disease (pre-eclampsia) and also with pre-term birth. The research discovered the presence of viral nucleic acid in heel-prick blood samples from 1326 newborn babies, taken over a 10-year period. More than 400 of these babies were diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

skevimc
08-19-2010, 06:17 PM
Skevimc



I know this is a complicated problem so maybe I don't understand (always possible). But didn't your study find a difference in rotational strength?

Trunk rotational strength asymmetry in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis: an observational study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2072936/)

Yes, we found a significant rotational strength asymmetry. In the observational study the difference was significant but in the training study there was no significant difference. However, the patients in the two studies overlap by about 90%. So there were some people in the observational study that did not strength train and there were a few patients that were not included in the observational study. Despite the study flaws, we feel pretty confident in the asymmetry findings.

The weakness is when the patient is rotating in the direction of the concavity while in the neutral position and when pre-rotated towards the concavity.

Layman's terms. For a right T curve. You are weaker when trying to twist to the left than when you twist to the right.

It's a tab bit more complicated, but that's the basic idea. The issue is whether or not the muscles on the concave side are the cause for the weakness. A trunk rotation is an extremely complicated coordination of muscle activity. It's even further complicated by the idea that the primary movers for a rotation don't directly influence the spine, i.e. they influence indirectly via the rib cage or fascia. Therefore, any muscle weakness directly on the spine would only have minimal rotational force OR would be primarily involved with stabilization/antagonistic contractions.

One very rough way to think about it is, if you have two people (A and B) in a line one behind the other facing one direction and person A is holding a balloon against a wall and person B is going to try to pop the balloon by pushing against A which will push the balloon against the wall and pop it. No matter how strong B is, if A is not strong enough to withstand the force required, the balloon will not pop (assuming arms must remain rigid).

So with rotations, the force exerted is certainly dependent on the primary movers (person B). But it is also dependent on the strength of the stabilizers (person A). You see other orthopedic conditions resulting from this such as shoulder or ankle instability. Even low back pain can be a result of this. This is somewhat theoretical and is a very difficult thing to measure or confirm.

It is also made even more complicated when you factor in different lengths and angles of muscles (the biomechanics). Ian Stokes has published some very nice computer modeling on this. He modeled a rotation of lumbar curve. And based only on the altered biomechanics of the muscles showed a weakness towards the concavity. (I hope I'm remembering that result correctly).

titaniumed
08-19-2010, 08:11 PM
I've been missing out here lately! Good find Mamamax!

The nucleus pulposus of scoliotic discs respond to exogenous stimuli by secreting interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other inflammatory cytokines
http://scoliosisjournal.com/content/4/S1/O1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinogens
Cooking food at high temperatures, for example grilling or barbecuing meats, can lead to the formation of minute quantities of many potent carcinogens that are comparable to those found in cigarette smoke (i.e., benzo[a]pyrene).

Barbecuing meat was popular back when Hippocrates discovered scoliosis.... Just wondering "if" this might be the naturally occurring carcinogen at blame?

Hamburger anyone?
Ed

Dingo
08-19-2010, 10:15 PM
skevimc

Very interesting. I didn't realize that the muscles around the spine weren't doing all of the work during a rotation. But is a rotation still the best way to engage those muscles?

Does this study from 2006 measure the same problem discovered in the rotational studies but in a different manner? For instance one policeman may use a radar gun while the other uses a lasar but both are trying to determine how fast a car is speeding.

Geometric and electromyographic assessments in the evaluation of curve progression in idiopathic scoliosis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16449906)


METHODS: The changes in radiographic geometric and EMG variables between the first presentation and consecutive 4-6-month follow-up periods were analyzed in 105 patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Statistical analyses were performed to elucidate in more detail how spinal geometry evolves during curve progression.

RESULTS: Curve severity was associated with remaining growth potential expressed as an increasing spinal growth velocity (SGV). With increasing SGV, an enhanced EMG activity at the lower part on the convex side of the curve expressed as EMG ratio was found. High EMG ratio was associated with increased axial rotation and diminished kyphosis before the rapid increase in Cobb angle. Lateral deviation, wedge angle, and axial rotation all increased during periods of progression. Changes in tilt angle and lordosis were not associated with curve progression.

CONCLUSIONS: In the natural history of idiopathic scoliosis, SGV and EMG ratio at the lower end vertebra are prominent risk factors of curve progression. The asymmetric muscle activity is associated with increased axial rotation, which in its turn is associated with increasing Cobb angle and diminishing kyphosis. The combination of these variables provides insight in the physiologic and 3-dimensional biomechanical evolution of the natural history of curve progression in idiopathic scoliosis.

mamamax
08-20-2010, 05:35 AM
I've been missing out here lately! Good find Mamamax!

The nucleus pulposus of scoliotic discs respond to exogenous stimuli by secreting interleukin-6 (IL-6) and other inflammatory cytokines
http://scoliosisjournal.com/content/4/S1/O1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinogens
Cooking food at high temperatures, for example grilling or barbecuing meats, can lead to the formation of minute quantities of many potent carcinogens that are comparable to those found in cigarette smoke (i.e., benzo[a]pyrene).

Barbecuing meat was popular back when Hippocrates discovered scoliosis.... Just wondering "if" this might be the naturally occurring carcinogen at blame?

Hamburger anyone?
Ed

Hey Ed :-) Heck, I don't know .. there was a lot of herpes running around in Hippocrates' time also! What confounds me - and apparently some others of far heavier weight (mentally and professionally) is, what on earth causes the genetic predisposition that would allow some to fall to the condition, and others to remain unscathed in groups experiencing similar "exposure"? I guess that's the big question. Meanwhile, that inflammatory response is quite interesting in that research into it could provide some additional treatment options? I guess this means no smoking or meat eating at your spa ... pass the garlic?

skevimc
08-20-2010, 12:33 PM
skevimc

Very interesting. I didn't realize that the muscles around the spine weren't doing all of the work during a rotation. But is a rotation still the best way to engage those muscles?

Does this study from 2006 measure the same problem discovered in the rotational studies but in a different manner? For instance one policeman may use a radar gun while the other uses a lasar but both are trying to determine how fast a car is speeding.

Geometric and electromyographic assessments in the evaluation of curve progression in idiopathic scoliosis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16449906)

I've always liked this study. It seems to be a very easy way to determine progression risk, regardless of whether or not the EMG ratio is causative.

The finding of increased EMG on the convex side initially led to the hypothesis that the convex side was trying to 'keep up' with the concave side. So it was suggested that the concave side was strong and the convex side was weak. But after various fiber type studies and other measurements, I don't believe this to be the case. It's somewhat complicated but it's explained in the discussion of our strength training paper.

As far as the 'best way' to engage the muscles. The short answer is no. A back extension is the primary direction most of the paraspinal muscles function. HOWEVER, full activation of the muscle might not be the primary goal. Function specific activation is more appropriate. Training the muscles to do what they are supposed to do is as important as getting them stronger (assuming weakness). I can strengthen my legs until I'm big and bulky but that won't make me a fast runner. Same with the paraspinals, you can make them stronger with extensions but it won't mean they are able to stabilize better.

Our assumption with rotations is that the vertebral rotation is a primary driving factor of progression (certainly this is debatable). At any rate, if the intent is to improve strength to the spinal stabilizers in a functionally meaningful way, rotational training would activate the paraspinal musculature in a way that would 'train' stabilization. This is theoretical of course. I had an aim of my dissertation that would have provided some evidence for or against this, but we didn't have the money or logistics (we needed an MRI).

Dingo
08-20-2010, 05:00 PM
skevimc


Function specific activation is more appropriate. Training the muscles to do what they are supposed to do is as important as getting them stronger (assuming weakness). I can strengthen my legs until I'm big and bulky but that won't make me a fast runner. Same with the paraspinals, you can make them stronger with extensions but it won't mean they are able to stabilize better.

I hadn't thought of that. That's a good way to look at it.


Our assumption with rotations is that the vertebral rotation is a primary driving factor of progression (certainly this is debatable). At any rate, if the intent is to improve strength to the spinal stabilizers in a functionally meaningful way, rotational training would activate the paraspinal musculature in a way that would 'train' stabilization.

You are in good company with that hypothesis. Dr. Douglas Kiester, the inventor of the internal Scoliosis brace and the patent holder on numerous other medical devices talks about rotation. (source (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8948))


Scoliosis is not just a lateral bending of the spine. It is a lateral bend linked with rotation. For rotation to occur there must be an axis of rotation in the midline. I proved this with growing rabbits and a dog while I was still in training. What happens is while the spine grows, the back of the spine is tethered by the ligaments, while the front (where the vertebral bodies are which support the weight) grows without restraints. Eventually there is too much length in the front, and very tight structures in the back. The spine then pops off to the side creating a spiral around the tight structures in the back (which stay almost straight). As such it is growth that powers the curve. If the posterior structures can be stretched-out by hormones of pregnancy, exercise, sleep, etc. or the anterior structure shorten by dehydration of the disk, aging, hormones, etc.; then the curve would be expected to improve. After a certain amount of curve, gravity prevents spontaneous correction.

Ballet Mom
08-23-2010, 01:56 AM
Speaking of research into Alzheimer's treatments...here's an interesting report about a protein/drug used in cancer treatment that may be useful in Alzheimer's treatment. (The possible drug, Leukine, stimulates white blood cells in cancer therapy). Read the whole story at the link, it's very interesting. Who knows what novel therapies could be found effective using already existing drugs?


Arthritis protein 'guards against Alzheimer's disease'

A protein produced in cases of rheumatoid arthritis appears to protect against the development of Alzheimer's disease, US scientists have said.

In the Journal of Alzheimer's Research study, mice with memory loss given the protein fared better in tests.

A synthetic version of GM-CSF protein is already used as a cancer treatment.
/
/
The researchers have suggested the protein may attract an influx of cells called microglia from the peripheral blood supply around the brain, which then attack the characteristic plaques that form in people with Alzheimer's.

Microglia are like the body's natural "rubbish collectors" that go to damaged or inflamed areas to get rid of toxic substances.

The brains of GM-CSF-treated Alzheimer's mice showed more than a 50% decrease in beta amyloid, the substance which forms Alzheimer's plaques.

The researchers also observed an apparent increase in nerve cell connections in the brains of the GM-CSF-treated mice, which they say could be a reason memory decline was reversed.

'Crucial next stage'

Dr Huntington Potter, who led the research at the University of South Florida's Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, said: "Our findings provide a compelling explanation for why rheumatoid arthritis is a negative risk factor for Alzheimer's disease."

An artificial version of GM-CSF, a drug called Leukine, is already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and has been used to treat cancer patients who need to generate more immune cells.

Dr Potter added. "Our study, along with the drug's track record for safety, suggests Leukine should be tested in humans as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11035500

Dingo
08-23-2010, 10:49 PM
Totally amazing.


"Our findings provide a compelling explanation for why rheumatoid arthritis is a negative risk factor for Alzheimer's disease," said principal investigator Huntington Potter, PhD, professor of molecular medicine at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute and director of the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

I'd always bet that disease makes other disease worse. Not this time.

Ballet Mom
08-24-2010, 10:42 AM
Totally amazing.

I'd always bet that disease makes other disease worse. Not this time.

I agree...all this research really is amazing. So many puzzles just waiting to be solved.

Ballet Mom
08-24-2010, 06:42 PM
Just got back from my daughter's brace check at her orthotist's office. He checks her brace every six months, approximately, for fit and function.

He took a look at her latest x-ray and said her spine looked better than he'd seen it before and was very impressed with her compensatory curve. He said it looked good.

He measured the rotation of her lower back today at two degrees. ( I think he said "Wow" when he measured it).

And she is still growing!

mamamax
08-24-2010, 07:07 PM
Congratulations Ballet Mom .... wonderful news!! Happy for you & heart is smiling big big big :-)

Ballet Mom
08-24-2010, 08:05 PM
Thanks mamamax!

I'm only posting this so if any researchers may be lurking around...perhaps they might be interested....you never know.

Hopefully they find another compound other than the isotretinoin they're using now, because the first thing the orthotist said when I told him my daughter had been on accutane was....oh, the one on tv with the irritable bowel syndrome ads? :(

Anyhow, he's very interested in seeing the x-rays at the next check.

Bigbluefrog
09-16-2010, 08:10 PM
That is great news, and I have been reading most of your links...wow...takes the passion of some concerned parents to do this investigative research. letters.

Now this is intriguing, an anti inflammatory response or possible auto immune if I may recap what I previously read in your posts.

I wonder if there is other ways to mimic anti inflammatory response...other medicines that may be otc.

The other ? is yor dd still taking the Accutane? Do you think once she stops the scoliosis may return? or if we can get them past the growth period it would stop....this new finding may open doors and more Questions.

my dd does have diabetes another auto immune disease that they do not understand the cause. Is scoliosis defined as a disease? An autoimmune disease?

oh thanks for sharing....it gives me hope.

Are there any other children with scoliosis that have had similar results w Accutane?

Dingo
09-17-2010, 08:41 AM
A new study from Harvard ties Crohns Disease and Colitis to chronic bacterial infection. People with a particular genetic make-up may be more susceptible.

Bacteria Identified That May Lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Certain Individuals (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916121332.htm)


There are two principal forms of IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Approximately 30,000 new IBD cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S.


"In this study, we identified two microbes that instigate gut inflammation that leads to inflammatory bowel disease in mice," said lead investigator Wendy Garrett, assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at HSPH. "We show using both metagenomic and conventional culture techniques that an individual's genetic background influences what bacteria reside within his or her intestine. Several studies are currently underway examining the intestinal microbial communities of patients with IBD and we are looking forward to exploring the role of the Enterobacteriaceae we have identified in patients with IBD."

So there you have it. Genes may make the body more (or less) inviting to particular microorganisms that can in turn lead to illness. The fact that microbes evolve millions of times faster than humans makes it easy to see how this could happen. Furthermore this provides an explanation of why one twin may have a mental or physical disorder while the other is healthy.

Ballet Mom
09-17-2010, 01:38 PM
That is great news, and I have been reading most of your links...wow...takes the passion of some concerned parents to do this investigative research. letters.

Now this is intriguing, an anti inflammatory response or possible auto immune if I may recap what I previously read in your posts.

I wonder if there is other ways to mimic anti inflammatory response...other medicines that may be otc.

The other ? is yor dd still taking the Accutane? Do you think once she stops the scoliosis may return? or if we can get them past the growth period it would stop....this new finding may open doors and more Questions.

my dd does have diabetes another auto immune disease that they do not understand the cause. Is scoliosis defined as a disease? An autoimmune disease?

oh thanks for sharing....it gives me hope.

Are there any other children with scoliosis that have had similar results w Accutane?


Hi Bigbluefrog,

My daughter was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Meaning they have not figured out what caused it.

My daughter stopped taking a generic form of accutane in June. Accutane itself is no longer offered in the US due to lawsuits against the manufacturer.

If anything, my daughter's spine and back continue to look improved. It actually looks to me as if the rotation in her upper back has also been improving, although her rotation has been improving for quite a long time. But last night I was noticing that I don't think I'd be able to tell that she had scoliosis even with a trained eye.

I honestly doubt most OTC medicines would do anything for scoliosis. Much research is going to be necessary to determine the best drug to use should any of my daughter's experience prove to be of value. Isotretinoin (Accutane generic) is considered a blackbox drug. The highest warning available on drugs. It would not be something people should use lightly and not under doctor's supervision. It's actually scary to use it under doctor's supervision.

I am of the opinion, however, that it is not obviously necessary to take the drug for the same amount of time that acne patients do. There may also be other retinoids that could be used that are safer. This is something that would need to be determined in testing in research studies.

I agree, I think this is very hopeful.

As to other scoliosis patients having similar results using accutane...I have no idea. I have to believe that my daughter's particular circumstances would have been very rare. Number one, most people don't watch their kids nearly as much as I have watched my daughter over the years, due to her being in ballet almost daily. Two, most people on accutane don't have acne bad enough this young requiring acutane treatment at this age while she's still growing (should that have any influence on her results). And three, ballet is extreme. I doubt most people would even notice the things that I notice neurologically in their kids because of the extreme balance and muscular control required in these positions. I think I just happened to be the right person, in the right circumstances at the right time.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2007/03/12/arts/Joff450.jpg

http://www.dance.net/topic/7408544/1/Ballet-Photos-Misc/Side-extension-pics.html&replies=18

I decided to wait until her next appt. in November to make sure the curve doesn't revert before writing my letter to Dr. Collins of NIH. I have also decided to include Dr. Lenke in the letter, seeing as he's to be head of the Scoliosis Research Society. Hopefully somebody will be interested....if the Europeans don't get there first.

Ballet Mom
09-17-2010, 01:49 PM
A new study from Harvard ties Crohns Disease and Colitis to chronic bacterial infection. People with a particular genetic make-up may be more susceptible.

Bacteria Identified That May Lead to Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Certain Individuals (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100916121332.htm)





So there you have it. Genes may make the body more (or less) inviting to particular microorganisms that can in turn lead to illness. The fact that microbes evolve millions of times faster than humans makes it easy to see how this could happen. Furthermore this provides an explanation of why one twin may have a mental or physical disorder while the other is healthy.

Hi Dingo,

That's very interesting. It's amazing to me that a drug that reduces most of the inflammatory markers in the body can somehow cause an inflammatory disease. Perhaps this is part of the reason why. Maybe the gut bacteria are somehow changed or disrupted by the accutane treatment in some people.

This is not the only side-effect or complication of accutane use. It is not what my daughter got. It is, however, one that wasn't listed in earlier information disclosure pamphlets that you are required to sign away your life on before you use isotretinoin and that is why the lawsuits are focusing on this issue more than others.

Dingo
09-18-2010, 10:03 AM
BalletMom


Maybe the gut bacteria are somehow changed or disrupted by the accutane treatment in some people.

Any disruption or change in gut bacteria has the potential to trigger strange side effects.

Rheumatoid Arthritis has been tied to chronic bacterial infection in the stomach.
Gut-Residing Bacteria Trigger Arthritis in Genetically Susceptible Individuals (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100617120716.htm)

Interestingly enough when doctors cured a woman of H Pylori infection (the bacteria that causes ulcers and stomach cancer) her Rheumatoid Arthritis flared up.

Exacerbation of rheumatoid arthritis following Helicobacter pylori eradication: disruption of established oral tolerance against heat shock protein? (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15533608)

Perhaps H Pylori was filling a spot in her stomach and when doctors killed it with antibiotics another bacteria filled the spot. Maybe this is the bacteria that triggers RA. However it works this probably tells scientists something important about RA.

This also shows why it's so hard to determine the cause of a complex health problem. In RA joint damage might be triggered by the bodies response to a stomach infection. That's not an easy thing to tie together. The first thing that researchers look at in Scoliosis is the spine. But the root of the problem could be almost anywhere in the body.

Ballet Mom
09-18-2010, 11:13 PM
That's amazing Dingo!

Dingo
09-21-2010, 05:44 PM
Seasonal Flu Vaccine Lowers Risk of First Heart Attack, Study Finds (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920123535.htm)


The seasonal flu vaccine is associated with a 19% reduction in the rate of first heart attack and early vaccination in the fall further increases the benefits, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).


The study, by researchers from the United Kingdom, looked at 78,706 patients aged 40 years or older from 379 family practices in England and Wales. Of the total, 16,012 had had a heart attack and 8,472 of these patients had been vaccinated. The researchers found that influenza vaccination within the past year was associated with a significantly reduced rate of heart attack.

More evidence that heart health is not exclusively about red meat and heredity. :)

Ballet Mom
11-30-2010, 04:51 PM
Just to update this thread, my daughter's latest x-ray shows the compensatory curve has returned so the effect from the accutane was indeed temorary in terms of the curve itself.

It is interesting, however, that she seems to be completely capable in her ballet ability at this point. I would love for the researchers who are investigating Vitamin A and the retinoids on congenital scoliosis to also research the effect on adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. I really believe the retinoid had a positive effect on my daughter's balance (CNS?) and returned her ballet ability to her.

There was a study done back in the seventies that showed virus-like particles in the spinal muscles of scoliosis patients. I wonder what ever happened with that research?

tonibunny
11-30-2010, 05:22 PM
Have you read that study Ballet Mom, or is it just something you have heard about somewhere? I would love to track a study down if it exists. It's one of the things that the Raindrop Therapy guy Gary Young (proven to be a quack) used to claim, so I always had dismissed it as being complete BS, but I'd be very interested to read about it if it is actually true.

ETA What do you know? I just did a search for it again, and it DOES exist! Virus-like particles in paraspinal muscle in scoliosis. J N Webb and W J Gillespie. British Medical Journal 1976 :D

Time to look at this again! Only 4 out of 21 people with scoliosis had these particles though, so it may have been seen as a coincidental finding and not worth further research.

mamamax
11-30-2010, 05:40 PM
Web Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1688447/

Abstract

Biopsy material from the skeletal muscle (paraxials) of 21 patients with scoliosis was examined by light and electron microscopy. Virus-like particles, 17 nm in diameter with a crystalline structure, were identified in the skeletal muscle fibres of four patients. Associated changes in the sarcoplasm included swelling of mitochondria, presence of lipid droplets, and vesicular structures. Serological studies and culture for virus isolation gave negative results. An excess of lipid (predominantly in type 1 fibres) was noted in the skeletal muscle of several other cases. The significance of these findings is obscure, but the morphology of the paraxial muscles of patients with scoliosis and controls is currently being investigated in greater detail.

Ballet Mom
12-01-2010, 01:05 PM
Apparently they did do an additional study on these virus-like particles:

J Pathol. 1979 Sep;129(1):9-12.

The nature of virus-like particles in the paraxial muscles of idiopathic scoliosis.
Green RJ, Webb JN, Maxwell MH.

Abstract

Virus-like particles (VLP) have been identified by electronmicroscopy in the skeletal muscles (paraxials) of six cases of idiopathic scoliosis. These particles closely resembled VLP reported in the skeletal muscles in other conditions, e.g. Reye's syndrome, polymyositis, malignant hyperthermia, and chronic myopathy. We have shown by specific staining that these structures are composed of glycogen in a crystalline form. Using Coxsackie B infected tissue culture cells as a control we have shown that these viruses, which are of similar shape and size to the VLP, were unstained using this specific staining method.

PMID: 230331 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

And a copy of the first page of the paper:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/path.1711290103/abstract

(I obviously have no idea whether this might affect some of the cases of scoliosis or not, but they did follow up on the initial study.)

Ballet Mom
12-01-2010, 01:10 PM
What's even more interesting is this research paper I happened upon. Perhaps it is an immune system response that the accutane seemed to help in my daughter. I shall leave it to far better minds than my own to figure out the puzzle! :-)



Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2009 Jun;9(2):113-31.

Retinoids as critical modulators of immune functions: new therapeutic perspectives for old compounds.

Montrone M, Martorelli D, Rosato A, Dolcetti R.

Cancer Bioimmunotherapy Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico - IRCCS, National Cancer Institute, 33081, Aviano (PN), Italy.

Abstract

Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that critically regulate several physiological and pathological processes, including immune functions and cancer development. These biological response modifiers exert their pleiotropic effects through the interaction with nuclear receptors, defined as retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs). These ligand-activated nuclear receptors induce the transcription of target genes by binding to responsive elements in the promoter regions. RARs and RXRs are also capable to interact with other nuclear receptors, thus expanding their spectrum of action on gene expression. Evidence has been accumulated indicating that retinoids may exert beneficial effects in both immune-mediated disorders and tumors. With regard to cancer, retinoids directly target neoplastic cells by inducing differentiation, inhibiting cell growth or promoting survival. However, the efficacy of these compounds in cancer treatment probably resides in their ability to modulate also the function of immune effectors. Vitamin A derivatives are currently used in the therapy of acute promyelocytic leukemia and of cutaneous T cell lymphomas, but they could be effective also on B-cell malignancies. Clinical trials are ongoing to test their efficacy in solid tumors. In this review, we give a broad depiction of how retinoids influence the function of immune effectors and affect growth and survival of hematological malignancies. This with the aim to better understand the clinical effects of retinoid-based therapies and provide the rationale to combine retinoids with other active compounds in new synergistic treatment strategies.

PMID: 19519462 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19519462

Ballet Mom
12-05-2010, 08:18 PM
Stem cell finding could reverse ravages of multiple sclerosis

By Sophie Borland
Last updated at 11:16 PM on 5th December 2010


Scientists have discovered a way to repair damaged nerves with stem cells which could give hope to tens of thousands of multiple sclerosis sufferers.

The British researchers say their findings could lead to the development of drugs that repair nerves in the brain and spinal cord and potentially reverse some of the symptoms of MS.

Almost 100,000 Britons suffer from MS, an incurable disease that causes loss of mobility, sight problems, tiredness and excruciating pain.

It becomes progressively worse and many sufferers are left confined to wheelchairs or mobility scooters.

It is caused by damage to myelin, the substance that surrounds all nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This impairs the way messages are transmitted from the brain to the rest of the body.

Women are twice as likely to develop MS than men and around a fifth of patients will have their life-expectancy shortened by the disease, as it leaves them more at risk from infections and blood clots in the lungs.

Now scientists from Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities have discovered a way of stimulating stem cells in the brain to help repair the damaged myelin.

In experiments on rats, they found that when these stem cells were injected with a chemical called retinoic acid, the myelin was repaired.

They hope that their findings, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, will lead to the development of future treatments for MS – possibly based on this chemical.

Simon Gillespie, of the MS Society, said: ‘For people with MS this is one of the most exciting developments in recent years.

‘It’s hard to put into words how revolutionary this discovery could be and how critical it is to continue research into MS. We’re delighted to have funded the first stage of this work and we’re now looking into funding it further.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1335967/Stem-cell-finding-reverse-ravages-multiple-sclerosis.html#ixzz17IGfsfwG

Ballet Mom
12-05-2010, 08:23 PM
Retinol was, by the way, the Vitamin A formulation that was found to help congenital scoliosis in experiments in the study I posted earlier on this thread. This is SO exciting!

I wonder if this will be able to help people with spinal nerve damage also. :-)

Here's the link to the actual research article if anyone's interested....pretty heavy duty reading though.

http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.2702.html

Now let's get some studies like that on AIS!

Dingo
12-11-2010, 08:02 PM
BalletMom

We live in an amazing time!

If Scoliosis is triggered by damage to the nervous system from a virus, pollution, toxin, etc. etc. scientists will eventually learn how to use stem cells to repair the damage and cure the disease.

I think over the next several decades a large number of mental and physical diseases will be cured through stem cells.

mamamax
12-12-2010, 10:55 AM
Great findings Ballet Mom! And I really do have to take a moment to thank both you and Dingo for your contributions over the past year. Over the last year I've actually taken some measures to control inflammation through diet - and it has been of benefit. Interesting and noteworthy in my world ;-)

Ballet Mom
03-19-2011, 12:49 AM
I am linking Concerned Dad's thread to this thread as it is an interesting piece of information related to this thread. Thanks CD!

http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?11940-Fish


Fish?
I’ve been doing some research on one of my biotech stocks and came across an interesting thought.
The stock I am researching is Amarin (AMRN) who are conducting a Phase III trial evaluating EPA (a component of fish oil) for use in lowering triglyceride levels.
I was reading through a paper from a large study using EPA that was conducted in Japan, it is called the JELIS study. The paper was published in Lancet and is available here:
http://www.nypcvs.org/images/Jelis_Lancet_2007.pdf


Anyway, my concern for the stock is the affect of EPA on LDL cholesterol, that topic is not at all important to my observation, but I thought I’d share what I was looking for. (If they can demonstrate a reduction in triglycerides w/o an increase in LDL-C, I may have a good investment).

Reading through the Lancet paper they note one of the limitations of extending their research to a broader population (non-asian) involved the fact that the vast majority of their participants routinely ate large amounts of fish. They note the background levels of Omega 3’s (DHA and EPA) in their trial were far higher than in European populations.

OK, well then I started reading this paper from the Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.com.../83/3/324.full
They mentioned the anti-inflammatory nature of high doses of Omega 3’s (DHA and EPA).

Then I thought about BalletMoms thread dealing with Anti-inflammatory drugs and scoliosis and some of Dingo’s comments about Melatonin and inflamation.

Then I wondered if there was a difference in the incidence of scoliosis in Japan as compared to the US (thinking that, if there were a difference, maybe it is related to the Japanese high fish intake and associated anti-inflammatory properties of the Omega-3’s.)

I found this study suggesting the incidence (with caveats – see the paper) in Tokyo Japan was 0.87%
http://www.bioportfolio.com/resource...Scoliosis.html

and we have this paper suggesting the incidence in the Rochester, MN is 1.8%
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/282/15/1427.full

So, the obvious question: Is the incidence of scoliosis in Japan lower due to the anti-inflammatory affects associated with their high dietary fish intake (Omega-3’s)?

Probably not, but I thought I’d throw it out for discussion anyway.

Hope everyone here is doing well (and getting along).

Ballet Mom
04-13-2011, 03:26 PM
An interesting study on the effect of minocycline after spinal cord ischemia in rats. It was found to improve hind-limb motor function and attenuated gray and white matter injury and microglial activation after spinal cord ischemia in rats.

So there could very well have been an effect on my daughter's compensatory curve while taking minocycline and later isotretinoin.


Spine:
POST ACCEPTANCE, 7 February 2011
Basic Science: PDF Only

Effects of minocycline on hind-limb motor function and gray and white matter injury after spinal cord ischemia in rats

Takeda, Masafumi MD; Kawaguchi, Masahiko MD; Kumatoriya, Tomoyuki MD; Horiuchi, Toshinori MD; Watanabe, Keisuke MD; Inoue, Satoki MD; Konishi, Noboru MD; Furuya, Hitoshi MD
Published Ahead-of-PrintAbstractStudy Design: A prospective, randomized laboratory investigation

Objective: To investigate whether administration of minocycline attenuates hind-limb motor dysfunction and gray and white matter injury after spinal cord ischemia.

Summary of Background Data: Minocycline, a semisynthetic tetracycline antibiotic, has been shown to have neuroprotective effects in models of focal and global cerebral ischemia. However, there have been no data available regarding the effects of minocycline in a model of spinal cord ischemia.

Methods: Thirty-six rats were randomly allocated to one of 3 groups; control (C) group (n = 11), minocycline (M) group (n = 13), or sham group (n = 12). Minocycline or saline was intraperitoneally administered for 3 days beginning at 12 hours before 10 minutes of spinal cord ischemia or sham operation. Spinal cord ischemia was induced with intraaortic balloon catheter and blood withdrawal. Seventy-two hours after reperfusion, hind-limb motor functions were assessed using Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan (BBB) Scale (0 = paraplegia, 21 = normal). For histological assessments, the gray and white matter injury was evaluated using the number of normal neurons and the extents of vacuolations in the white matter, respectively. Activated microglia was also evaluated using Iba-1immunohistochemistry.

Results: BBB scores and the numbers of normal neurons in the M group were significantly higher than those in the C group. The percentage areas of vacuolations in the white matter and the number of Iba-1 positive cells were significantly lower in the M group compared with those in the C group.

Conclusions: The results indicated that minocycline administration improved hind-limb motor function and attenuated gray and white matter injury and microglial activation after spinal cord ischemia in rats.



http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/publishahead/Effects_of_minocycline_on_hind_limb_motor_function .98935.aspx

skevimc
04-13-2011, 05:10 PM
An interesting study on the effect of minocycline after spinal cord ischemia in rats. It was found to improve hind-limb motor function and attenuated gray and white matter injury and microglial activation after spinal cord ischemia in rats.

So there could very well have been an effect on my daughter's compensatory curve while taking minocycline and later isotretinoin.




It's an interesting article. I was reading about their descriptions of minocycline in the introduction section and evidently it has known clinical effects apart from its anti-microbial action. They then go on to describe a few other studies including 1 open-label trial with recent stroke survivors and suggested that those who received minocylcine had better outcomes.

In the present study, the rats that received minocycline had almost total recovery after 72 hours, as measured with the BBB score, whereas the control group mostly remained completely paralyzed.