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gerbo
02-10-2006, 03:41 AM
I've always wondered about the role of the ligaments between the vertebrae in scoliosis, and to me it seems inevitable that where the lateral ligaments are stretched (longer) on the convex side of the curve, they must be shortened on the concave side (as the vertebrae are pushed together closer on that side)

I have wondered whether in time, this shortening of the ligaments becomes structural resulting in a further barrier to the spine straightening out again, a bit like a contracture of a joint after longterm immobility.

Does anybody know whether any research has been done on this, either microscopic or other analysis of ligaments or attempts to improve on scoliosis by "stretching" these ligaments??

any thoughts (Linda??)

LindaRacine
02-10-2006, 12:25 PM
Gerbo...

I don't know very much about the soft tissues in regard to scoliosis. But, if you search PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed) for scoliosis and biomechanics, you'll find all sorts of research on the subject.

--Linda

The Professor
04-06-2006, 07:37 PM
Gerbo,

This is a bit off-topic, but there's a recent (2005) paper that describes differential levels of TGF-beta1 (transforming growth factor) and bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor) taken from concave vs. convex sides of a growth plate within a scoliotic vertebra.

Whether this is a possible cause or a secondary effect is not known nor conjectured. I'd imagine you'd find a similar scenario in the ligaments.

The Professor
04-06-2006, 07:38 PM
Sorry, forgot the link:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16135988&query_hl=2&itool=pubmed_docsum

gerbo
04-07-2006, 05:54 AM
mmmhh, I am not scared of science, but that gets a bit too complicated for me, although it is interesting to see that a higher concentration of growth factors is found on the concave side, which is actually the side which ends up a bit thinner once wedging is occuring (this is what i think i understand :eek: :eek: )

cherylplinder
04-07-2006, 07:48 PM
Hmmmmmmmmmm. That doesn't seem to make sense, does it?

gerbo
04-08-2006, 03:51 AM
no, it doesn't, so either i just do not understand it, or it is just some secundary effect (which i would have thought anyway) and is not a cause of the scoliosis

Celia
04-09-2006, 06:27 PM
Well....the findings suggest "a possible etiological factor or a secondary change in the development of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis." Clear as a bell, no ? :eek: :eek:

gerbo
04-10-2006, 02:26 AM
basically they are saying, we haven't got a clue!

gerbo
04-10-2006, 03:10 AM
....and even our friend, dr Rivard is not able to give an answer here: http://www.ndos.ox.ac.uk/pzs/Group_4/Rivard.html

The Professor
04-10-2006, 09:51 AM
Hmmmmmmmmmm. That doesn't seem to make sense, does it?

In a way, though, it does make sense, as some of these growth factors can promote the breakdown of old matrix and building of new matrix. If the combination of growth factors presented promote osteoclast and chondroclast activity, old matrix will be broken down and reabsorbed, and normally this activity is connected to osteoblasts and chondroblasts laying down new material and proliferating.

Thus, if the blasts aren't responding to the signal as well as the clasts, you'll get a net breakdown of matrix.

Just because the growth factors are there doesn't mean that the response to them will be normal-- it depends on the receptors that the cells are expressing and the signalling events that occur downstream. Obviously, there's a long way to go with this.

I've been frankly shocked at actually how little progress has been made looking into these kinds of things. Some of it may be due to funding levels at the NIH, i.e., so much money going into other "politically expedient" things such as bird flu, anthrax, etc., and not much going into research on other diseases that affect way more people.

gerbo
04-10-2006, 10:33 AM
my money would be on it being all secundary to the strains put on the vertyebrae in the curve, rather than it being an etiological factor.

Clearly research is going on (see the link above for example); the problem is whether the outcomes of those studies can be made relevant to the treatment of scoliosis, which often they cannot!

The Professor
04-10-2006, 07:24 PM
Clearly research is going on (see the link above for example); the problem is whether the outcomes of those studies can be made relevant to the treatment of scoliosis, which often they cannot!

Exactly my point, the research that is going on out there doesn't really contribute much to finding causes or new treatments, they mostly just evaluate existing treatments and follow long-term outcomes. Some of that kind of thing is necessary, but advances in treatment are more likely to come out of basic scientific research rather than the massive load of clinical studies coming out now.

There's a definite need for more basic scientific research into spinal column structure and development.

Celia
04-11-2006, 08:28 AM
In a way, though, it does make sense, as some of these growth factors can promote the breakdown of old matrix and building of new matrix. If the combination of growth factors presented promote osteoclast and chondroclast activity, old matrix will be broken down and reabsorbed, and normally this activity is connected to osteoblasts and chondroblasts laying down new material and proliferating.

Thus, if the blasts aren't responding to the signal as well as the clasts, you'll get a net breakdown of matrix.

Just because the growth factors are there doesn't mean that the response to them will be normal-- it depends on the receptors that the cells are expressing and the signalling events that occur downstream. Obviously, there's a long way to go with this.

Professor,

Thank you for that explanation....very interesting ! One little thing.......how do we know you're not making this up :D LOL !

The Professor
04-16-2006, 09:51 PM
Professor,

Thank you for that explanation....very interesting ! One little thing.......how do we know you're not making this up :D LOL !

Aw, just trust me (crossing fingers) :D