View Full Version : visual prolems and scoliosis

01-22-2006, 08:27 PM
I'm just curious in sort of informally assaying this question in the forum. This applies to people with AIS. I'm wondering if people might be comfortable sharing, if they know, whether or not they require visual correction (and how much) and the extent of their curves. Specifically I'm interested in 4 measures:

Right eye vision: (diopters and/or visual acuity)
Left Eye vision: (diopters and/or visual acuity)
Major curve before surgery (if applicable): (degrees, position)
Minor curve before surgery (if applicable): (degrees, position)

In the absence of all of this information, I'd be at least interested in qualitative descriptions of eyesight and curves. Is one eye significantly better than the other? Approximately how severe was the extent of the curve?

I'll begin:
Right eye vision: 20/480 (-5.25 diopters)
Left Eye vision: 20/450 (-5.00 diopters)
Major curve before surgery: about 65 degrees thoracic
Minor curve before surgery: about 50 degrees lumbar

Since scoliosis may be developmental, I'm interested, quite generally, in left/right differences (eyesight, hearing, body hair distribution) and how they might relate to scoliosis.

Some background literature for this:

Laterality of curves in enucleated pinealectomized chickens (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16418630&query_hl=11&itool=pubmed_docsum)
Visual Deficiency and Scoliosis (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11148645&query_hl=17&itool=pubmed_docsum)
Handedness and scoliosis (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=2326712&query_hl=19&itool=pubmed_docsum)

Karen Ocker
01-23-2006, 06:41 PM
I had very severe idiopathic -onset age 11 -scoliosis at age 14: 100degree major right (triple curves-contrary to the article.)I am left handed but ambidextrous for many tasks like throwing a ball, painting, pushing a vacuum cleaner.

The article you cite is 15 years old. Interestingly most females have right major curves. This article discusses the PREVALENCE of left-handedness in persons with scoliosis not it's association with major curve direction. Another interesting aside: years ago kids were forced to write with the right hand. I do not know whether this is still done in other cultures.


Regarding vision: My mom has significant scoliosis; never needed glasses until advanced age.

My brother has mild scoliosis: nearsighted since high school which has decreased with maturity. As far as I know, no great difference between eyes.

My sister has mild scoliosis-uses reading glasses only -age 66.

Me: Excellent vision until I needed reading glasses in my 40s--farsighted. Very slight difference in vision between right and left eyes. Before lasik I was 20/200--after 20/20 + 20/30

Here is a neurological test on eye movements which found no correlation with scoliosis:

These are interesting aspects about scoliosis you are focusing on.

I also add I always had excellent balance, even when I was very crooked at 14. I could walk along a single log dam barrier without falling in.


Karen Ocker
01-23-2006, 08:41 PM
Would you mind sharing with the forum your area of professional expertise and why you are interested in these topics?


01-23-2006, 09:02 PM
I'll share mine....

Right Eye- 20/375
Left Eye- 20/450

I havent had surgery, but currently my major curve is 36 and my minor is 35

01-26-2006, 11:02 AM
Hello everyone. Thanks for your replies.

Karen, I am a genetics graduate student working on autism and I'd like to one day work on scoliosis. Autism, by contrast to scoliosis, is extremely well-funded and efforts to solve it are highly collaborative. I think our scoliosis advocacy is not nearly as effective and our funding levels are disproportionately low given its prevalence.

The link between visual problems and scoliosis was pointed out as early as 1960 by Ponseti et al, so far as I can tell. The reason I'm interested: you type "scoliosis myopia" or such searches into OMIM, you get back more than a handful of genetic loci that have been identified in Mendelian diseases. While scoliosis may quite frequently be complex, not Mendelian, many of these loci may have some role in bringing about the phenotype. Some genes which establish an initial left/right assymmetry may be players in the development of scoliosis. I'm thinking in something as developmentally complex as the eye or ears that their might be evidence of this.

The early article points out that there is an association between handedness and curve pattern. Curve pattern matched handedness in 82% of cases. Of 228 right-handed children, 197 had a right convex curve pattern; of 26 left-handed children, 12 had a left.

The article you gave
is great. Thanks a lot. The odds ratio (OR) of 1.60 means that there is a 60% greater chance of having scoliosis given left handedness relative to right. That's pretty striking. Some abstracts have been circulating on genes that may influence handedness.

It may be that vision or handedness are ways that could help subset individuals in a genetic study. Sometimes, in complex disease, if there are many "genes" involved and the phenotype, a study might less effectively identify them since it could be gene A in one family and gene B in another. If both families are analyzed in the same study, the effects of one gene might be diluted or negated. So imagine a left-handed scoliosis person might have gene A causing disease and a person with bad vision may have gene B causing disease.

Thanks for sharing your links, curves, and vision information.

Karen Ocker
01-26-2006, 02:49 PM
I don't know if you heard about this one and I'm not sure I have it straight: that a certain substance was found in the CSF(cerebral spinal fluid) in persons WITH scoliosis is not found in persons WITHOUT scoliosis; also this substance was reduced when the curves were corrected. I may have read this in a Scoliosis newsletter or something from the Scoliosis Reseach Society.


02-06-2006, 05:31 PM
I've not heard of any substance found in the CSF of those with scoliosis in greater quantities than those without. Was it a protein of some kind?

That's not to say it couldn't happen. New mass spec. instruments are being made that can detect quantitative differences in all protein species in CSF. It sounds like an idea for an experiment.

Now just to try to round up a hundred people with AIS and some age-matched controls to undergo a spinal tap. $$$.