View Full Version : Diagnostic Test for Idiopathic Scoliosis

06-05-2006, 02:16 PM

Paradigm Spine to Fund Trailblazing Genetic Research to Introduce the First Diagnostic Test Able to Predict Idiopathic Scoliosis
Monday June 5, 12:43 pm ET
Test Could Benefit Millions of Children Globally

NEW YORK, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A newly developed diagnostic test that promises to radically change the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is to be evaluated in trials funded by Paradigm Spine, LLC. ('Paradigm'). The trials will be conducted at Montreal's renowned Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center ('Ste.-Justine'), known globally for its research into scoliosis and other neuro-musculoskeletal diseases. Paradigm focuses on development of less invasive and tissue-sparing treatments for spinal diseases.

Marc R. Viscogliosi, Paradigm's Chief Executive, told an audience at Ste.- Justine: "I believe we may be on the brink of discovering the secret to the causes of scoliosis that until now were so complex that children were diagnosed purely on visual examination -- long after the disease had taken hold."

Paradigm signed an agreement with Ste.-Justine to provide cash and various other resources through 2008 to complete trials of a blood test devised by Dr. Alain Moreau, director of Ste. Justine's Bone Molecular Genetics and Skeletal Malformations Laboratories.

For Dr. Moreau, successful trials will validate work begun in 2001 under the auspices of the Yves Cotrel Foundation, in France, and continued at Ste.- Justine. Idiopathic scoliosis afflicts more than one million adolescents (10- 16 years old), in North America of which 13% may undergo therapeutic bracing treatment or some form of surgical correction.

To date the test has proven effective in identifying the presence of a genetic marker in animals and post-scoliotic patients. The proposed clinical trials are intended to demonstrate the effectiveness of the test using blood samples from early-stage scoliosis patients and an unaffected control group.

"Dr. Moreau's trailblazing work suggests a major scientific breakthrough that would change the way adolescent scoliosis is diagnosed and treated. We have followed his work for some time and are delighted to provide support for this critical trial," Mr. Viscogliosi said.

In its agreement with Ste.-Justine, Paradigm will receive the exclusive worldwide license to commercialize, manufacture, distribute, or sub-license any device, genetic tests, therapeutic agents, or any future technology derived from Dr. Moreau's scoliosis research.

Dr. Moreau said: "Scoliosis is a gradual, debilitating condition, both physically and psychologically. Treatment is difficult because, until the curvature of the spine exceeds a 'normal' angle, indicating scoliotic progression, very little can be done to correct it. We hope that this new test will provide the answer so that timely and less invasive measures can be adopted to effectively treat the disease."

According to Dr. Moreau, the results of his research, that began in 2001, made him optimistic that the progression of scoliosis would be predictable in infants using well understood genetic markers.

"The possibility of applying the results to future genetically based therapies is also very real and obviously quite exciting," Dr. Moreau added.

Paradigm has followed closely Dr. Moreau's research and that of his colleagues for more than five years through its relationship with his colleague at Ste.-Justine, Dr. Charles Rivard. Dr. Rivard is the inventor of Orthobiom, an experimental non-fusion treatment for late stage scoliosis, also being developed by Paradigm.

Mr. Viscogliosi added: "Underwriting Dr. Moreau's research will, we hope, be life changing not only for affected children, but also for my family. Having spent most of our working lives in the field of musculoskeletal research and development, my brothers and I are now fortunate to be able to provide significant funds for advancing life-changing treatments and technologies.

During the past decade the Viscogliosi brothers have supported orthopedic and musculoskeletal development work at three university hospital spine units in France and at the New York Hospital for Special Surgery, the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, and the American Spinal Injury Association. The Viscogliosi brothers also founded the Spine Arthroplasty Society and several other spine-related organizations.

The clinical trials for Dr. Moreau's new diagnostic test will include panels of children attending the three Ste.-Justine scoliosis clinics, as well as a control group of children with no symptoms of the disease. The results of the trials are expected to be available in early 2008.

06-05-2006, 03:11 PM
This is a fabulous report. It may come to late from many of us, but for my grandkids and their kids what a great thing. The next would be to alter the gene responsible before anything even happened :)

06-05-2006, 06:55 PM

Thanks so much for that information. I knew there was a reason that I am willing to travel 7 hours each way to Saint Justine's.

That is very exciting. I only wish all of this could have been happening sooner to help all of the adults and children today.


06-05-2006, 09:44 PM
This is very exciting! I'm so very proud of the doctors at Ste. Justine :) This is why I commute 5 hours each way! I think there was a thread entitled Canadian doctors being in the "dark ages" and I certainly think news like this dispels these notions. Come to think of it.....wasn't it a Canadian dr who invented the Boston brace ????? :D

06-06-2006, 01:59 PM

I saw the news yesterday and was so excited. Yes, Montreal is advanced as far as scoliosis research is. :)

06-06-2006, 04:17 PM
all getting carried away a bit here, it is only a trial, to me scoliosis is a too complicated illness to be diagnosible, and predictable and preventable through a simple blood test, i am sure the medical world is full of research of this kind, most of it will not practically affect the outcome for the majority of patients. :( :(

06-07-2006, 08:47 AM
You may be right, it is only a trial. And yes scoliosis is complicated it seems unbeleivable that they could diagnose something so complicated with a simple blood test,
but..... at least there doing something. And being a monther of two children who have a hight chance (so I was told)of having it, news like this is very encouraging and was the best for me. I cried trew the whole thing.

Yes it is only a trial, and yes it may not be used in time for my kids, but it may be in use for when they have their family.
And to me that is fantastique!!
Maybe I'm crazy to think it will be in use one day, but Ilike to think I am just positive.


06-07-2006, 09:09 AM
I agree ! You have to open your mind to the possible ;) Preliminary tests look promising so why not celebrate :D

06-07-2006, 09:42 AM
And yes scoliosis is complicated it seems unbeleivable that they could diagnose something so complicated with a simple blood test,

i do not think diagnosing scoliosis is the problem, it is predicting which ones will progress and decide how to treat effectively, which are the main issues to be resolved.

06-07-2006, 09:48 AM
Paradigm Spine to Fund Trailblazing Genetic Research to Introduce the First Diagnostic Test Able to Predict Idiopathic Scoliosis
Monday June 5, 12:43 pm ET
Test Could Benefit Millions of Children Globally

also, do not forget, this is a commercial company, keen to sell a product for the benefit of its shareholders, just take everything with a few pinches of salt and base judgement on the outcome of properly conducted trials, once those outcomes are available........ :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

06-07-2006, 11:59 AM
The company is not publicly listed in the stock market. It's privately owned.

06-07-2006, 02:14 PM
correction; keen to sell a produkt for the financial benefit of the company's owner (s)...... (celia cries tears of exasperation, why oh why could he not have stayed in the netherlands ;) )

06-07-2006, 03:47 PM
I can see you're just as stubborn as I am :D :D

06-07-2006, 04:37 PM
only when i am right :o :o ;)

06-08-2006, 07:01 AM

I didn't realize you weren't from England. But I am sure my daughter and I would still love the accent.

I understand what you are saying about the research. But like many of the other Parents, I feel very strongly that something positive in the field of scoli is just around the corner. I need to feel positive and hopeful. The alternative isn't much fun.

On another note, I would love to see some scoliosis magnets for the car. Has anyone seen anything like this? They have support for cancer, autism, etc. Anyone know?


06-14-2006, 10:25 AM
I am always skeptical of researchers who have a press release before they can even disclose what gene that they are studying.

The current publication by Dr. Moreau only gives clues that it may be related to melatonin (a hormone that regulates wake/sleep patterns) biology. Even if there is a genetic relationship, there is no data the would support why or how this genetic variation results in scoliosis. This means that this group has at least 10-15 years research until the diagnosis can be used to preventively treat scoliosis.

The only publication by Dr. Moreau is the following:

Spine. 2004 Aug 15;29(16):1772-81.
Melatonin signaling dysfunction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

Moreau A, Wang da S, Forget S, Azeddine B, Angeloni D, Fraschini F, Labelle H, Poitras B, Rivard CH, Grimard G.

Research Center, Sainte-Justine Hospital, Bone Molecular Genetics and Musculoskeletal Malformations Laboratory, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. amoreau@justine.umontreal.ca

STUDY DESIGN: In vitro assays were performed with bone-forming cells isolated from 41 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and 17 control patients exhibiting another type of scoliosis or none. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether a dysfunction of the melatonin-signaling pathway in tissues targeted by this hormone is involved in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Pinealectomy in chicken has led to the formation of a scoliotic deformity, thereby suggesting that a melatonin deficiency may be at the source of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. However, the relevance of melatonin in the etiopathogenesis of that condition is controversial because most studies have reported no significant change in circulating levels of melatonin in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. METHODS: Primary osteoblast cultures prepared from bone specimens obtained intraoperatively during spine surgeries were used to test the ability of melatonin and Gpp(NH)p, a GTP analogue, to block cAMP accumulation induced by forskolin. In parallel, melatonin receptor and Gi protein functions were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and by coimmunoprecipitation experiments. RESULTS: The cAMP assays demonstrated that melatonin signaling was impaired in osteoblasts isolated from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients to different degrees allowing their classification in 3 distinct groups based on their responsiveness to melatonin or Gpp(NH)p. CONCLUSION: Melatonin signaling is clearly impaired in osteoblasts of all patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis tested. Classification of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in 3 groups based on functional in vitro assays suggests the presence of distinct mutations interfering with the melatonin signal transduction. Posttranslational modifications affecting Gi protein function, such as serine residues phosphorylation, should be considered as one possible mechanism in the etiopathogenesis of AIS.
Melatonin signaling dysfunction in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

06-16-2006, 05:47 PM
That's intersting to say the least, from what I did understand. I'm the world's biggest insomniac and have been since I was a child. I did try Melatonin and it gave me nightmares.