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Dingo
03-31-2009, 09:59 AM
March 5, 2009 - Serum melatonin levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prediction and prevention for curve progression – a prospective study (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122241511/abstract)

From their Abstract:
"These findings suggest that melatonin deficiency plays a role in the prognosis of idiopathic scoliosis. Therefore, melatonin supplements may prevent the progression of scoliosis, especially in mild cases with less than a 35 degree curve."

Research on Melatonin levels and curve progression are mixed. Some find a connection, others don't. The scientists in this study collected very precise measurements in an attempt to find a pattern. Instead of testing Melatonin once or twice a day they tested it every 3 hours for a full 24 hours. Instead of testing once they did this yearly for up to 6 years. Sure enough they got a much clearer picture. In their sample all children with normal Melatonin levels and curves less than 35 degrees did not experience curve progression. All children with low Melatonin levels who took Melatonin supplements and had curves less than 35 degrees did not experience curve progression. 2 children in their control group who had low Melatonin and did not take supplements experienced rapid curve progression. Their study suggests that if a child has normal Melatonin or even low levels and takes supplements AND does not already have a large curve they should be in good shape. I hope someone tries to replicate their study but this one took 6 years and I can't wait around to find out.

In the meantime the easiest way to increase natural Melatonin production is to "black out" your child's room. Eliminate nightlights, hall lights and all light that enters through windows. Even the smallest amount of light from an LCD will disrupt Melatonin production.

Here is an easy to read and understand article (http://www.bodyecology.com/07/01/11/nightlights_recommendations_sleep_well.php) on light and Melatonin production. There are a lot of health and science articles on this but this one gets right to the point.
"The pineal gland needs darkness to produce the melatonin that tells your body it's time to sleep. Any light you receive at night can confuse your pineal gland and decrease your body's production of melatonin."

Another thing that may potentially boost natural Melatonin production is fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acids).

Dietary deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids disturbs Melatonin rhythm in Syrian Hamsters (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18716175)

Researchers found that Hamsters who were fed low levels of Omega 3 oils produced half as much peak Melatonin. Whether this translates to humans I don't know. I doubt these scientists were worried about optimal Hamster health. This was probably an inexpensive study designed to see if a human study was worth exploring.

So how do Americans stack up compared to Omega 3 deficient Hamsters? Sadly we are in the same boat.

University Of Maryland Medical Center article on Omega 3s (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm)

"A healthy diet should consist of roughly 2 - 4 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, and many researchers believe this imbalance is a significant factor in the rising rate of inflammatory disorders in the United States."

Here is one last thing you may already know. Melatonin is a Calmodulin eater and Calmodulin appears to be what triggers curve progression. This is from the latest Japanese study, "Melatonin binds to calmodulin with high affinity, thus acting as its antagonist. The inverse relationship between calmodulin and melatonin may prove important in considering the pathogenesis of idiopathic scoliosis."

If you haven't already seen it here is another article on this phenomenon
Platelet Calmodulin Levels in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS): A Predictor of Curve Progression and Severity? (http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article378.html)
"It appears that increasing platelet calmodulin levels correlate closely with curve progression and severity"

It appears that Melatonin might be a Scoliotic child's best friend. Supplements increase Melatonin levels 10 to 100 times normal levels. I'm not qualified to know if longterm use would be safe in children but as a nonscientist that doesn't sound healthy. Thankfully there are a few easy things any parent can do to increase their child's natural Melatonin production.

concerned dad
03-31-2009, 12:34 PM
March 5, 2009 - Serum melatonin levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prediction and prevention for curve progression – a prospective study (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122241511/abstract)



March 5, 2009? Come on Dingo, tomorrow is April, dont you have any recent research on this you can link too? :D

I suppose I'll start believing it when I see people posting in the thread "How did you get scoliosis" stories about their nite-lights.

Seriously, interesting post and well laid out. I appreciate the links provided.
I'm looking forward to hearing PNUTTRO's take on this.

Dingo
03-31-2009, 12:43 PM
Concerned Dad

Glad you liked it. :)

I don't want to be confusing on this. It isn't that low levels of Melatonin actually cause Scoliosis. It appears something further upstream in Melatonin Signaling (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) is the root of the problem. But Melatonin may help treat the symptoms, i.e. curve progression.

By comparison Statins may treat Heart Disease but a lack of Statins isn't what causes heart disease in the first place. Statins are just medicine to treat a disease. Making sure a child has optimal levels of Melatonin is roughly the same thing.

Karen Ocker
03-31-2009, 01:59 PM
Hey:
Dingo
Question: Who has scoliosis that makes you interested in this research???

Regarding your posted articles: I would be interested if genetic studies would show which person had the gene possible implicated in progression---in the references cited. Another important point: studies possibly suggest never really prove.

Looks like you are trying to control scoliosis with nutrition and other alternatives by researching articles. Lots of luck. Not sure it's so simple. Making dietary recommendations, not backed up by evidence based science, can have unintended negative consequences. What if it makes things worse???? ---or causes another disorder. Not until we have many studies using mega analysis can one tentatively make recommendations.

Ulcer disease was thought to be caused by stress and a milk based diet was recommended. The person with ulcers was given a "sippy" diet which meant sipping cream every few hours. Evidence based science found a bacterium(H-Pylori, a WHO class 1 carcinogen) as the cause of ulcer disease and that diary products could be counterproductive. Antibiotics are now the gold standard.

For diverticulosis a pureed diet used to be recommended because, it was thought, seeds, nuts etc got caught in those pouches. Good studies have shown the opposite: persons who ate nuts, seeds has much less diverticulitis.

Regarding melatonin and fish oils influencing scoliosis:

My mother was born in Russia and lived her teen years(Estonia) where there was practically very little sun light a good portion of the year --so close to the Arctic circle-- little electricity, low light kerosene lamps. Her diet was almost entirely fish. Guess what? She has progressing scoliosis her whole life and is quite twisted at 92. My sister, brother, girl maternal cousin and I(worse case) have scoliosis. My fish loving paternal cousin's daughter had scoliosis surgery.
We all grew up going to bed early in dark rooms with no night lights, no TV, and much less ambient light than children these days.


Wished it were so simple.

Dingo
03-31-2009, 04:34 PM
Who has scoliosis that makes you interested in this research???
My 5 year old son was diagnosed with a 12 degree curve 4 or 5 months ago.

Making dietary recommendations, not backed up by evidence based science, can have unintended negative consequences. What if it makes things worse????
While that is certainly possible I doubt that sleeping in a dark room or consuming a healthy amount of fish or fish oil is dangerous. Doctors would encourage any child to do those things whether they had Scoliosis or not. What evidence do you have that sleeping in a bright room and not consuming fish is healthier for children with Scoliosis? If there is no evidence that these are unhealthy I can't think of a good reason to treat children with Scoliosis differently.

My mother was born in Russia and lived her teen years(Estonia) where there was practically very little sun light a good portion of the year --so close to the Arctic circle-- little electricity, low light kerosene lamps. Her diet was almost entirely fish. Guess what? She has progressing scoliosis her whole life and is quite twisted at 92.
Melatonin production depends on light during the daytime as well as darkness at night. Some studies have found that living at a high latitude is associated with Scoliosis. (http://nsdl.org/resource/2200/20061003132803215T) It's certainly possible that reduced sunlight may play a part in that.

concerned dad
03-31-2009, 04:43 PM
Some studies have found that living at a high latitude is associated with increased curve progression.

Come on Dingo, you're letting me down. Where is the hyper link to go along with "Some Studies".:D

Dingo
03-31-2009, 04:53 PM
From the link in my last post.

"Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prevalence has also been reported to be different in various latitudes and demonstrates higher values in northern countries. A study on epidemiological reports from the literature was conducted to investigate a possible association between prevalence of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and age at menarche among normal girls in various geographic latitudes. An attempt is also made to implicate a possible role of melatonin in the above association."

Pooka1
03-31-2009, 07:43 PM
Another thing that may potentially boost natural Melatonin production is fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acids).

Dietary deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids disturbs Melatonin rhythm in Syrian Hamsters (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18716175)

Researchers found that Hamsters who were fed low levels of Omega 3 oils produced half as much peak Melatonin.

By the way, Syrian hamsters have no limit for alcohol...

"Researchers caution, however, that if we humans are congenitally inclined to drink, we are designed to do so only in moderation. We are not, in other words, Syrian hamsters, the popular pet rodents that also are a favorite of alcohol researchers. Syrian hamsters are the Andy Capp of the animal kingdom. “They’ll drink alcohol whenever offered the option,” said Howard B. Moss, associate director for clinical and translational research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in Bethesda, Md. “You give them a bottle of water and a bottle of alcohol, they’ll always choose the alcohol over the water.”

Researchers have traced this avidity to the hamster’s natural habits. The animals gather fruit all summer and save it for later by burying it underground, where the fruit ferments. “That’s how the hamsters find their cache of last summer’s goodies when it’s the middle of winter,” Dr. Moss said. “They’ve developed a preference for the taste and smell of fruit that’s turned.” They’ve also developed the necessary equipment to metabolize high doses of alcohol. “A hamster’s liver is five times the size of a human liver in comparison to the other abdominal organs,” Dr. Moss said. “It’s all liver in there.”

They are mostly liver and 100% cute. :)

concerned dad
03-31-2009, 08:10 PM
Things are starting to get clearer

Pooka1
03-31-2009, 09:02 PM
Exactly!

No limit. :)

Dingo
03-31-2009, 09:45 PM
I had no idea that Hamsters were such party animals. :eek:

Dingo
03-31-2009, 09:54 PM
Karen Ocker

Maybe I didn't do the best job explaining the research. The Japanese aren't suggesting that low Melatonin causes Scoliosis. The average child with low Melatonin won't have Scoliosis. But among children with the dysfunction that causes Scoliosis low Melatonin spells trouble. Many children with Scoliosis may not produce enough Melatonin in the best of circumstances. According to the researchers involved in this study Melatonin supplements eliminated the risk of curve progression for these children.

As a practical matter I would think that maximizing natural Melatonin production is a good idea. This may not be enough for all children but it may work for a lot of kids, especially those with small curves.

PNUTTRO
04-01-2009, 01:29 PM
[QUOTE=Dingo;73944]March 5, 2009 - Serum melatonin levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prediction and prevention for curve progression – a prospective study (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122241511/abstract)

I read this paper this morning. I am not convinced of their interpretation of the results.

There were 18 patients with low melatonin (How low is low? They only show data from one patient over the course of the study.)
2 untreated
9 treated with melatonin
7 treated with melatonin and bracing

Results:
2/2 untreated progressed
1/9 with melatonin progressed
3/7 with melatonin and bracing progressed.

compared to the control group of 22 patients with normal melatonin.
1/6 untreated progressed--That's as good as the treatment group above. . .
5/10 braced progressed

Combining melatonin normal and melatonin treated, 10/32 (31% progressed)
Low melatonin and no treatment is too small of a group to be informative. It is just 2 flips of a coin.

It looks more like a study that says bracing doesn't work.

If melatonin is so important why are there more patients with normal melatonin than with low melatonin (22 vs 18)? One would think that those would be hard to come by.

There is a lot of conflicting ideas about how important melatonin is in scoliosis. Here is a fair review of the literature (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=17408483).

Dingo
04-01-2009, 04:40 PM
PNUTTRO

The Japanese study finally set a measurable standard that can be easily checked.

All children with curves less than 35 degrees who had normal melatonin or "supplemented" melatonin did not suffer progressive Scoliosis.

If that's the benchmark scientists should give Melatonin to 100 children with mild Scoliosis for a year or two and see how many progress.

It's an obvious test and perhaps in 2 or 3 years we'll have an answer. But in the meantime it's "lights out" at my house.

If increased Melatonin and/or Melatonin supplementation has an impact on curve progression a treatment for Scoliosis may be right around the corner. The Scoliosis blood test (http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2006/06_30/3_advances_medicine03_12.html) will be out in 2009/2010. A simple blood test given several times a year will let doctors know when Calmodulin levels are spiking. Melatonin (assuming it helps) combined with effective bracing should improve outcomes dramatically.

Right now doctors are walking around blind with nothing to guide them. They hand a child a brace, hope that it works, hope that the child uses it and tell the patient to come back in 6 months for an x-ray. If it doesn't work they never know for sure what went wrong.

Karen Ocker
04-01-2009, 07:04 PM
I haven't seen anything to suggest--a good study- or better- a meta analysis suggesting scoliosis is more common in one latitude than another. I read that the distribution was pretty much evenly distributed and affected 3% of the population one way or another.

Another thought:
Are we talking about congenital, juvenile or the commoner idiopathic which starts pre-adolescent. There is also de-novo scoliosis in adults. In areas of the world where polio still exists there is scoliosis associated with that.

As an aside; I hope you do not submit your little one with scoliosis to "chiropractic care":rolleyes:. There are lawsuits in Canada where children have been harmed by chiro manipulation. The pediatricians there recommend against it.

Dingo
04-01-2009, 09:50 PM
Karen Ocker

I don't plan on taking my child to either a Chiropractor or a witch doctor. They are roughly the same thing. :)

The Japanese study relates to Adolescent Scoliosis.

This study (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) only tested Adolescents but it's findings and the blood test that came from it also apply to Juvenile Scoliosis. I'm not sure about infantile.

concerned dad
04-02-2009, 07:54 AM
I haven't seen anything to suggest--a good study- or better- a meta analysis suggesting scoliosis is more common in one latitude than another.


Karen, I'm pretty sure that WAS a meta-analysis that Dingo linked to.

20 peer-reviewed published papers reporting adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prevalence and 33 peer-reviewed papers reporting age at menarche in normal girls from most geographic areas of the northern hemisphere were retrieved from the literature. The geographic latitude of each centre where a particular study was originated was documented. The statistical analysis included regression of the adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prevalence and age at menarche by latitude.

I dont know that I "buy it" (I'm hesitant to "buy" anything lately) but it is interesting. And it looks like they excluded other forms of scoliosis (as best they could) and just considered AIS. As you point out, otherwise it would be pretty senseless.

Now to talk to my tax advisor and see if there is a medical deduction for moving to Florida.

Dingo
04-02-2009, 09:52 AM
concerned dad

Now to talk to my tax advisor and see if there is a medical deduction for moving to Florida.

I live in Phoenix, Arizona which is one of the sunniest cities in America. My 5 year old son has a mild 12 degree curve. We suspect that his Scoliosis began when he was 3 or even earlier. The back grows faster from birth to age 5 than at any other time. I don't know if all of the extra sun helped but judging from that Meta analysis it certainly might have kept his symptoms mild.

I should also say that since birth he had a night light, hall light and street light coming through his window. When he was diagnosed with Scoliosis I began scouring the Internet for an answer. It took me about 2 months to figure out that Melatonin may have something to do with his problem. We "blacked out" his room and his sleep improved immediately. He used to sleep very shallow and would wake up all the time. Not any more. That was about 4 months ago and although I don't know if it helped his Scoliosis it certainly helped his sleep.

PNUTTRO
04-03-2009, 09:33 PM
The Japanese study finally set a measurable standard that can be easily checked.

I respectfully disagree. I see the Japanese study as having some glaring omissions and ambiguities regarding experimental design.


If increased Melatonin and/or Melatonin supplementation has an impact on curve progression a treatment for Scoliosis may be right around the corner. The Scoliosis blood test (http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2006/06_30/3_advances_medicine03_12.html) will be out in 2009/2010. A simple blood test given several times a year will let doctors know when Calmodulin levels are spiking. Melatonin (assuming it helps) combined with effective bracing should improve outcomes dramatically.

Regarding this article. You say a blood test is imminent, but the reference is from 2006. Do you have inside information?

How can a blood sample of lymphocytes and detection of a second messenger (which is involved in numerous cellular pathways) be considered a measure of melatonin metabolism in [insert scoliosis related tissue here]?

Pooka1
04-03-2009, 10:14 PM
(snip)
[...] detection of a second messenger (which is involved in numerous cellular pathways) [...]

THANK YOU!

cAMP is involved in practically everything and its mother last I knew.

Dingo
04-03-2009, 11:33 PM
PNUTTRO

I respectfully disagree. I see the Japanese study as having some glaring omissions and ambiguities regarding experimental design.

Nobody has to copy the Japanese study. Give Melatonin supplements to 100 children with mild Scoliosis and check the rate of progression. If it's better than the control group the Japanese were onto something.

Regarding this article. You say a blood test is imminent, but the reference is from 2006. Do you have inside information?

Yes I have been in contact with the team. They hope to have FDA approval this year. Their goal is to have 4 operational sites in the US within a year or so. I'm not entirely sure but I believe these are testing labs. The actual blood tests can be taken anywhere in the US. I'm not technical so I don't know if I understood that part correctly. Their only fear is that the bad economy will slow commercialization of the test. In the meantime children with AIS or JIS can get their blood tested for free in Montreal.

How can a blood sample of lymphocytes and detection of a second messenger (which is involved in numerous cellular pathways) be considered a measure of melatonin metabolism in [insert scoliosis related tissue here]?

That question is 10 levels above my understanding of how the test works. I do know that Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf)is key or closely related to the problem. But I don't know how they measure that with a blood test.

PNUTTRO
04-04-2009, 06:47 AM
My point is simply this. There is little data to support what Dr. Moreau is trying to do. The jury is still out about whether melatonin biology is important in scoliosis. There are various reports that are contradictory to what Dr. Moreau says. I am just trying to voice the dissension.

Your previous posts give me the impression that you have seen exactly one doctor and you have taken his advice to be the gold standard. Which many will consider to be false or at least premature.

Nobody knows what causes scoliosis. We don't even know if it is a problem with nerves, muscle, bone, connective tissue, or other cell types. Its a complex problem and one not easily solve thru molecular biology.

I am not trying to dissuade you from trying everything possible to help your son, I just want you to take a more objective approach so that you don't have regrets later. Consider what you would do if you had a "progression blood test". What would you do if you know that the scoliosis would progress? Is that any different from what you would do if there was a chance that the scoliosis will progress?

p

Dingo
04-04-2009, 03:46 PM
There is little data to support what Dr. Moreau is trying to do. The jury is still out about whether melatonin biology is important in scoliosis. There are various reports that are contradictory to what Dr. Moreau says. I am just trying to voice the dissension.

I know that Melatonin has not been conclusively proven to reduce curve progression. It may or may not help. But as far as I know Dr. Moreau is not involved in that line of research.

But I wasn't aware that there was strong counterevidence to Moreau's discovery of Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction in children with AIS. Every child in his sample had it. If the FDA approves his test this year as he expects it has to be more than a hypothesis.

Consider what you would do if you had a "progression blood test". What would you do if you know that the scoliosis would progress? Is that any different from what you would do if there was a chance that the scoliosis will progress?

In one sense you are right because either way I'd "black out" his room, ensure he had a good diet, sunlight, exercise etc. However if I knew that it would progress inspite of bracing I would think seriously about VBS. And if the surgeon knew how serious the case was I'd hope that he would take that into account. On the other hand if I knew that it might progress or might not I would try night bracing and hope for the best.

Your previous posts give me the impression that you have seen exactly one doctor and you have taken his advice to be the gold standard.
When asked my son's doctor told me that Scoliosis appeared to be a neurological disorder. But he never mentioned a word about Melatonin or blood tests or anything else. That was all from my own research.

Karen Ocker
04-05-2009, 04:09 PM
20 peer-reviewed published papers reporting adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prevalence and 33 peer-reviewed papers reporting age at menarche in normal girls from most geographic areas of the northern hemisphere were retrieved from the literature. The geographic latitude of each centre where a particular study was originated was documented
Concerned Dad

What about the Southern Hemisphere?

concerned dad
04-06-2009, 08:46 AM
Concerned Dad

What about the Southern Hemisphere?

Darn good question.
I really should buy a globe because I found a few suprises when trying to answer your question.
the paper Dingo posted says;
The regression curves of AIS prevalence and age at menarche by latitude are following a parallel decrement, especially in latitudes northern than 30°, as it is shown in figures 1 and 2 respectively.

So, I figured, there must be data south of 30 degrees South Latitude.

The center of S Africa is only at 27 degrees S, and the center of Australia is at 29 S. I thought these areas where futher south than that.

Anyway, I guess the answer to your question must relate to the huge disparancy between the population density of the N and S hemispheres especially between 30 and 60 degrees.
here (http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/maps/globaldens.pdf) is a link to a map showing population density.

and here (http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/mapproj/gif/robinson.gif) is another link with the globe labelled with Latitude notes. Both links show a Robinson projection but the first (the one with population) doesnt even show 0-30S latitudes.

But I suppose, if there were published data from say Perth, or New Zealand, it could serve as a test of their hypothesis. But what they really need is data from 60 degrees South Latitude. And there is no one living there.

Karen Ocker
04-06-2009, 11:29 AM
I just thought of something. Since gene markers for scoliosis have been discovered, and since some populations intermarry and do not migrate great distances far, could that be attributed to scoliosis incidence?

I'm thinking along the line of Tay-Sachs disease.

Dingo
04-06-2009, 12:23 PM
Karen Ocker

Since gene markers for scoliosis have been discovered, and since some populations intermarry and do not migrate great distances far, could that be attributed to scoliosis incidence?

It is highly unlikely that Scoliosis is a genetic disorder. There are a lot of obvious reasons why a heritable Scoliosis gene could never spread to a significant portion of the population. Theory aside, a recent twin study found what theory suggested. PNUTTRO posted a recent study (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8480)that found just 13% pairwise concordance for Scoliosis. That is extremely low.

If any Scoliosis genes do exist they probably work something like the "flu" genes that Australian scientists recently discovered.

Scientists pinpoint flu gene (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3538487/Scientists-pinpoint-flu-gene.html)

"Infectious disease experts in Australia have identified a mix of genes that make people eight times more likely to suffer for longer, and experience severe symptoms, once they fall ill."

Flu is caused entirely by flu virus. But perhaps specific genes may make people more susceptible or make symptoms worse. The reason these genes exist at all is because they perform some other beneficial task.

Karen Ocker
04-06-2009, 01:23 PM
From the national library of medicine:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19340878?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19337134?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Karen Ocker
04-06-2009, 01:28 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19223951?ordinalpos=10&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Karen Ocker
04-06-2009, 01:30 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19212754?ordinalpos=11&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Karen Ocker
04-06-2009, 01:33 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19154516?ordinalpos=16&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Dingo
04-06-2009, 01:43 PM
Karen Ocker

I appreciate the links because I love reading this stuff but the history of "Gene X causes Disorder Y" research has been an almost complete bust. Over the last 20 years how many headlines have you read like this one?
Dr. Jones discovers gene that causes common disorder X!
You've probably seen thousands of these but the sad truth is that in nearly every case these genes are quietly "unfound" within a few years. Those genes that truly do correlate with illness typically create susceptability but don't actually cause the disorder. Many times scientists have no idea why a gene might correlate with a particular disorder.

Here is a prime example.
Analysis finds many genes tied to cancer don’t raise risk of getting it (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28438895/)

"They found that, out of 240 associations between a specific mutation and a cancer, only two genes involved in DNA repair and tied to lung cancer — XRCC1 and ERCC2 — turned out to be strong candidates for such a link."

It's the same story almost every time. Scientists find a gene and a few months or years later they unfind it.

If you asked 100 people what caused Multiple Sclerosis how many of them would say genetics? My guess is that nearly all of them would. Here is a simple google search on the subject, multiple sclerosis gene (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=multiple+sclerosis+gene). Scientists have found lots of genes that correlate with MS. But that doesn't mean that any of them cause MS. In fact research points strongly towards Mono (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/infectious-mononucleosis-topic-overview), the kissing disease.

Glandular fever link offers hope of vaccine for MS (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24678376-5006786,00.html)
AUSTRALIAN researchers have made what may prove to be a key discovery in the hunt for the cause of multiple sclerosis by finding that patients with the degenerative nerve condition cannot properly control levels of the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes glandular fever.

Sure there are plenty of genes involved but only in the sense that they might reduce the bodies ability to deal with Mono. This weakness ultimately leads to nervous system damage.

Dingo
04-06-2009, 04:04 PM
Karen Ocker

Everyone in my immediate family with mitochondrial DNA has scoliosis. Mother, sister, brother, myself and girl cousin. If it's environmental why not my father?

There is a possibility that your family shares a new, rare genetic mutation that leads to Scoliosis. However it is overwhelmingly likely that you all share a "susceptability gene". This gene doesn't cause Scoliosis, it only creates a susceptability to the environmental trigger that does.

You mention that everyone on your mother's side has Scoliosis. Have you wondered how a gene like that could survive for 100s or 1000s of generations in primitive environments? Scoliosis directly impacts children. A gene like that couldn't survive let alone spread. Unless you have a new mutation it almost has to be a susceptability gene.

There are families where everyone on one side has Type 1 Diabetes, MS, Ulcers or any number of disorders. That is not proof that a disease is genetic.

Ulcers probably ran in many families and they are caused by bacteria. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_peptic_ulcer_disease_and_Helicobacter_ pylori)

PNUTTRO
04-06-2009, 04:57 PM
You mention that everyone on your mother's side has Scoliosis. Have you wondered how a gene like that could survive for 100s or 1000s of generations in primitive environments? Scoliosis directly impacts children. A gene like that couldn't survive let alone spread. Unless you have a new mutation it almost has to be a susceptability gene.

WTF! I'll give you the opportunity to try to explain this one again.

Dingo
04-06-2009, 05:02 PM
PNUTTRO

I'll give you the opportunity to try to explain this one again.

Natural selection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection)

Pooka1
04-06-2009, 05:05 PM
PNUTTRO

I'll give you the opportunity to try to explain this one again.

Natural selection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection)


I don't think we are allowed to mention "natural selection" on this forum. :(

Dingo
04-06-2009, 05:07 PM
Here is a simple example straight from todays headlines

Natural biology is just fine until something else goes wrong.

Molecular Switch Linking Infectious Disease And Depression Identified (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183755.htm)

13% MZ pairwise concordance suggests that Scoliosis won't be any different. It's not sickle cell anemia.

Dingo
04-06-2009, 06:45 PM
Pooka1

I don't think we are allowed to mention "natural selection" on this forum.

Right now one of the most popular threads on Watching and Waiting is "Would my child inherit my scoliosis?" (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7695)

Loads of moms are desperately worried that they are passing on a genetic disorder to their child because scientists have told everyone that Scoliosis is caused by heredity.

From a theoretical point of view:
Scoliosis is very common, maybe 2% of kids have it. Newsflash: genetic disorders in children are almost all rare thanks to natural selection.

Now comes the evidence
Scoliosis is 13% MZ (identical twin) pairwise concordant and 0% DZ (fraternal twin) pairwise concordant. That's about as low as you can go.

I don't know what else people could be waiting for. The theory and evidence overwhelmingly suggest that in most cases Scoliosis is not a genetic disorder.

PNUTTRO
04-06-2009, 06:51 PM
You mention that everyone on your mother's side has Scoliosis. Have you wondered how a gene like that could survive for 100s or 1000s of generations in primitive environments? Scoliosis directly impacts children. A gene like that couldn't survive let alone spread. Unless you have a new mutation it almost has to be a susceptability gene.

Your comment implies that a scoliosis susceptibility gene would not transmit over generations. Is that what you meant?

Dingo
04-06-2009, 09:08 PM
Your comment implies that a scoliosis susceptibility gene would not transmit over generations. Is that what you meant?

For a variety of reasons susceptability genes can last indefinitely. The most obvious reason is that they may offer some other benefit.

Most people with the gene probably won't run into "factor X" at the key time that can trigger Scoliosis. This larger group may receive a fitness benefit from the same gene. It might work 100 different ways but if a gene is common it offers a useful trait or at least it used to at some point in history. Worst case scenario it floats in the neutral zone.

Rare mutations can be deadly but they have a hard time being anything but rare. This is especially true in children. If a gene takes out a child it goes down with the ship before it has a chance to spread.

Pooka1
04-06-2009, 09:11 PM
Pooka1

I don't think we are allowed to mention "natural selection" on this forum.

Right now one of the most popular threads on Watching and Waiting is "Would my child inherit my scoliosis?" (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=7695)

Ah no. I was unclear.

Natural selection, along with some other things, is too factual for some here.

We can't assume everyone is interested in facts.

txmarinemom
04-06-2009, 09:50 PM
We can't assume everyone is interested in facts.

I, for one, am going to spend the rest of my life trying to work the Syrian Hamster story into at least ONE conversation outside this board.

Dingo
04-06-2009, 09:56 PM
PNUTTRO

Another thing is that it wouldn't technically have to offer increased susceptability to "factor X". It might only offer increased susceptability to the disease itself.

For instance Gene A does a great job until flu virus takes down Subsystem B. When Subsystem B goes down the protein that Gene A codes for becomes a liability and the victim dies of Disease C.

There is nothing wrong with Gene A, nor does it increase susceptability to flu virus. But if Subsytem B happens to go down the body fails. Nearly everyone who dies of Disease C also happens to have Gene A, but the actual problem is flu virus.

The other day I was reading about an eye disorder that worked just like that. Nearly every person with the disorder had a particular gene but most people with the gene didn't get the disorder. I can't remember what scientists thought triggered the disorder but it was something mundane.

txmarinemom
04-06-2009, 10:10 PM
Syrian hamsters ... Syrian hamsters ... Syrian hamsters.

It's my new mantra.

Pooka1
04-07-2009, 08:41 AM
I, for one, am going to spend the rest of my life trying to work the Syrian Hamster story into at least ONE conversation outside this board.

Look, you, clearly are interested in facts. :)

Almost half the US populace is specifically NOT interested in facts. Certain things are too factual for them.

They live in a demon haunted world.

It is a FACT that Syrian hamsters have no limit when it comes to alcohol consumption. :D

PNUTTRO
04-07-2009, 09:37 AM
PNUTTRO

Another thing is that it wouldn't technically have to offer increased susceptability to "factor X". It might only offer increased susceptability to the disease itself.

For instance Gene A does a great job until flu virus takes down Subsystem B. When Subsystem B goes down the protein that Gene A codes for becomes a liability and the victim dies of Disease C.

There is nothing wrong with Gene A, nor does it increase susceptability to flu virus. But if Subsytem B happens to go down the body fails. Nearly everyone who dies of Disease C also happens to have Gene A, but the actual problem is flu virus.

The other day I was reading about an eye disorder that worked just like that. Nearly every person with the disorder had a particular gene but most people with the gene didn't get the disorder. I can't remember what scientists thought triggered the disorder but it was something mundane.

words. words. words. . .

You are thinking of the sickle cell/malaria model. The benefit/cost ratio.

Penetrance--the genetic concept where a person inherits a genetic predisposition, yet the symptoms vary or the percentage of persons who exhibit symptoms.

I was upset about your comments because you said that there is no reason for a gene to be transmitted unless it has a biological benefit. That is neither true nor does it fit with the natural selection model.

The genes still transmit. There are exactly two reason why that wouldn't happen. One you mentioned previously, the individual dies (not a scoliosis problem). Second, the genetic variation makes the individual sterile, usually associated with mental retardation. NOT a scoliosis problem.

Genetic predisposition to scoliosis exists and are transmitted in a Mendelian fashion. The explanation is the the biology is complex and we have no clue what causes scoliosis.

This is why I am sooooooooooo against genetic testing for anything for which the genetic test does not give any hope of alternative treatments.

There are many examples of how people struggle to get a diagnosis and finally a genetic test says that you have disorder "suckstobeyou". "Oh, and by the way, there is no cure and no treatment, have a nice day."


I have to thank Karen for bringing up her family history. This probably a good example of a family with a strong genetic inheritance for scoliosis. And when you told her that her family could not possibly have inherited a "scoliosis gene", I was VERY upset because you, in fact, are wrong. Karen is right.

p

PNUTTRO
04-07-2009, 09:38 AM
Look, you, clearly are interested in facts. :)

Almost half the US populace is specifically NOT interested in facts. Certain things are too factual for them.

They live in a demon haunted world.

It is a FACT that Syrian hamsters have no limit when it comes to alcohol consumption. :D

If I keep my hamster drunk will it quit biting?

txmarinemom
04-07-2009, 10:21 AM
If I keep my hamster drunk will it quit biting?

BWAAAAAH!

It may, but then again, who can *afford* to keep those lushy lil' suckers drunk?

Your luck, you'd end up with the hamster who just keeps drinking and never passes out ... perpetually embarrassing you around friends dancing on the bar, doing a little hamster striptease or even worse, joyriding in your car every time you turn your back.

Playing with fire, sister. Playing with fire.

txmarinemom
04-07-2009, 10:31 AM
This is why I am sooooooooooo against genetic testing for anything for which the genetic test does not give any hope of alternative treatments.

There are many examples of how people struggle to get a diagnosis and finally a genetic test says that you have disorder "suckstobeyou". "Oh, and by the way, there is no cure and no treatment, have a nice day."

My thoughts on the topic exactly, not to mention if your insurance company gets wind you have - or will develop - "suckstobeyou", your already sucky existence is likely to become a LOT "suckier".

At what point does confirmation from genetic testing (even if you haven't sought treatment because A) you haven't displayed symptoms, and B) there IS no treatment) knock your disease into the pre-existing condition category?

I've read that's a fear of many who consider genetic testing for familial conditions.

(re: disorder "suckstobeyou" ... not a funy topic at ALL, but *that* was classic ;-)

Pam

Dingo
04-07-2009, 10:46 AM
PNUTTRO

I was VERY upset because you, in fact, are wrong. Karen is right.

Karen's family might share a very rare mutation or incredibly unlucky combination of genes. That is possible. But the odds are always highest for environmental damage plus some type of genetic susceptability.

Leprosy can and does hit specific families very hard. MZ concordance is off the charts high (60% to 80%). That doesn't make it a genetic disorder. It's a bacterial infection that is easily cured with antibiotics.

If you want to believe that 2% of children around the world have a curved spine because of heredity, and natural selection is powerless to stop it that's your prerogative. Let's wait for the evidence to get sorted out over the next 10 years. I believe that in almost all cases Scoliosis is due to environmental damage of some type. My opinion is based on the simplest concepts of math and natural selection. When scientists determine that most types of Scoliosis are triggered by damage, and they will, please remember this debate. :cool:

Karen Ocker
04-07-2009, 11:14 AM
Dingo:

What's your profession and how are you helping your son by finding causes???

When a parent is blindsided by a child's illness it's natural to want to find out "why". There is the urge to "control" the child's disease by all sorts of methods or even find the first "cure". If the current treatment options seem distasteful then there is a wild search for "alternatives" and sometimes time, money and energy is wasted.

My parents had me: hanging from bars, not carrying books and visiting a chiropractor for 9 months in the 6th grade. My recommended surgery was delayed and my curve increases dramatically in a few months ---with resultant increased deformity.

PNUTTRO
04-07-2009, 12:06 PM
Karen's family might share a very rare mutation or incredibly unlucky combination of genes. That is possible. But the odds are always highest for environmental damage plus some type of genetic susceptability.

It may come as a shock to you, but she wasn't talking about you or any other people. She was talking about her own family and her concerns about a genetic component. (Karen, please, correct me if I am wrong.) And I think she has a strong argument for a rare situation. Geneticist love finding that one family that gives the biggest clue. Maybe her family is it.



Leprosy can and does hit specific families very hard. MZ concordance is off the charts high (60% to 80%). That doesn't make it a genetic disorder. It's a bacterial infection that is easily cured with antibiotics.

I am pretty sure that leprosy has a pretty good concordance in unrelated individuals too. But its a stupid argument anyway because scoliosis isn't cured by antibiotics. You can support that clinical trial.



If you want to believe that 2% of children around the world have a curved spine because of heredity, and natural selection is powerless to stop it that's your prerogative. Let's wait for the evidence to get sorted out over the next 10 years. I believe that in almost all cases Scoliosis is due to environmental damage of some type. My opinion is based on the simplest concepts of math and natural selection. When scientists determine that most types of Scoliosis are triggered by damage, and they will, please remember this debate.

Can you show your math? for extra credit.


Karen. Thanks for the article about Dr. Moreau's blood test for cAMP. Unfortunately, it's in German and looks more like a brochure to recruit patients than actually demonstrating supporting data for the test. I could be wrong--my German sucks.

PNUTTRO
04-07-2009, 01:23 PM
Your luck, you'd end up with the hamster who just keeps drinking and never passes out ... perpetually embarrassing you around friends dancing on the bar, doing a little hamster striptease or even worse, joyriding in your car every time you turn your back.

Playing with fire, sister. Playing with fire.


With my luck, I would end up with a mean drunk and he would just bit more often and start throwing stuff at me when I walked by the cage.

Did you notice all the editing on this thread?

Dingo
04-07-2009, 01:34 PM
PNUTTRO

I am pretty sure that leprosy has a pretty good concordance in unrelated individuals too.

I have no doubt that you're smart but you are substantially wrong.

GNXP: Why those studying humans must know population genetics (http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2006/06/why-those-studying-humans-must-know.php).

Here are some infectuous diseases and their twin concordance rates.
MZ = identical twins
DZ = fraternal twins

Measles - MZ = 97, DZ = 94
Scarlet Fever - MZ = 55, DZ = 47
Pneumonia MZ = 32, DZ = 18
Tuberculosis - MZ = 53, DZ = 21
Leprosy - MZ = 59, DZ = 10

Gene that makes people vulnerable to leprosy discovered (http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/gene_that_makes_people_vulnerable_to_leprosy_disco vered)

Heredity plays a substantial role in infectuous disease and disease processes. Even if an entire family has Leprosy it doesn't imply that it's being passed through genes. There are usually better explanations particularly in regard to diseases that affect children.

PNUTTRO
04-07-2009, 02:23 PM
I think I just won a bet.

Dingo
04-07-2009, 04:00 PM
Hereditary deafness hits about 1 kid in 2,500

If hereditary Scoliosis hits 10X as many kids (which I highly doubt) that's 1 kid in 250

Scoliosis hits 1 kid in 50.

That makes it easy for me to make this prediction.

No more than 20% of Scoliosis cases in children will be triggered by heredity. Realistically it's probably no more than 2% but I'm being generous. The rest are triggered by environmental damage of some type.

Do you disagree and think Scoliosis is caused by heredity?

I guess we'll have to watch the headlines over the next decade and see who is right. ;)

Dingo
04-07-2009, 04:15 PM
Karen Ocker

how are you helping your son by finding causes???

I'm not looking for a cause, nor do I have the ability to look because I'm not a scientist in the field. However anyone with a simple knowledge of mathematics and biology can see that in all likelihood Scoliosis is not typically the result of heredity. That's my only point on that subject.

Dingo
04-07-2009, 05:19 PM
Karen Ocker

How about scoliosis caused by the way the child is positioned in the womb.

If the mother and child were healthy in every other way I'd consider that natural, healthy biology gone awry and include it in the 20% genetic column.

However if the curve was small and corrects to under 10 degrees on it's own it might just be part of the system and not a disorder.

txmarinemom
04-07-2009, 11:02 PM
[If the mother and child were healthy in every other way I'd consider that natural, healthy biology gone awry and include it in the 20% genetic column.

Of ~course you would.

Enlighten the rest of us dolts with the definitive expert stand on genetic predisposition to superiority complexes and narcissism, please?

Can it be cured by antibiotics? Let me know and I'll start passing the hat.

concerned dad
04-08-2009, 09:21 AM
Pam, I don’t see how you can read superiority complexes and narcissism into Dingo’s argument. Self confident and respectful, yes. I find the discussion to be interesting. We are fortunate to have two articulate posters expressing opposing viewpoints on a relevant topic. Ad hominem attacks really detract from the civility.

I don’t see why editing a post should be something to laugh at, I do it all the time (<cough> there are occasions where you might consider it yourself).

PNUTTRO’s fictitious disease suckstobeyou gave me a hearty laugh. Very creative.

Dingo
04-08-2009, 09:45 AM
UB Scientists Discover Role Of Melatonin In Bone Formation (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990922050719.htm)

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo researchers have shown for the first time that melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by the pineal gland and used widely as a supplement to diminish jet lag and improve sleep patterns, may play an important role in promoting bone growth.

Melatonin may or may not play a role in slowing curve progression. However it appears to play a significant role in bone formation. Clearly that's important for all children whether they have Scoliosis or not.

Google search: melatonin bone formation (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=melatonin+bone+formation&aq=f&oq=)
If you scan the headlines on the first page it's very telling.

Maximum bone density is achieved by late adolescence (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/545997) so get started as soon as you can.

What's so bad about Osteoporosis besides a few broken bones? How does Vertigo grab you?
Dizziness May Be Tied to Osteoporosis (http://www.arthritistoday.org/news/vertigo-osteoporosis.php)

PNUTTRO
04-08-2009, 09:49 AM
CD


I'm not looking for a cause, nor do I have the ability to look because I'm not a scientist in the field. However anyone with a simple knowledge of mathematics and biology can see that in all likelihood Scoliosis is not typically the result of heredity. That's my only point on that subject.

Sorry to disappoint, but I am done here. Dingo has just distilled the life's work of thousands of geneticists and molecular biologists down to one statement of "simple biology and mathematics". I have no rebuttal.

I commented on the editing because if one takes time to thoughtfully consider what they are writing and how that might be interpreted by others before going live, there is no need to edit later. I failed to do that in my "bet" comment.

p

Pooka1
04-08-2009, 02:10 PM
(snip)Dingo has just distilled the life's work of thousands of geneticists and molecular biologists down to one statement of "simple biology and mathematics". I have no rebuttal.

Whenever I see biology referred to as "simple," I always think how we can send a man to the moon but we can't do "X" where "X" is any number of biological/medical problems.

We can send a man to the moon and fly space shuttles to space stations but we can't even determine what causes scratches in horses or why lithium helps with bipolar disorder.

It's sobering to say the least.

"Biology" and "simple" don't go together.

And w.r.t. math, that is a tool to help decipher the biology. And if you need fancy statistics to tease out an answer, you likely did the wrong experiment.

concerned dad
04-08-2009, 03:13 PM
Whenever I see biology referred to as "simple,"
snip

"Biology" and "simple" don't go together.



To set the record straight, Dingo used the word "simple" to describe the word knowledge, not the word biology.

Sharon, you misquoted PNUTTRO who misquoted Dingo.

Of course, my knowledge of biology is "simple" and I really dont understand both sides of the discussion/argument. Dingo makes a good case and I think I understand it. I'd like to hear PNUTTRO's take on it. Looks to much like throwing in the towel to stop discussing it over a "simple" issue (pardon the pun).

Dingo
04-08-2009, 05:01 PM
Pooka1

2% to 3% of children have Scoliosis.
Another way to think of Scoliosis is that the spine "subsystem" has failed to varying degrees.

Children have a nervous system, a brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc etc. For arguments sake lets pretend that children rely on 50 subsystems for their health.

If each of these 50 subsystems had a 2% failure rate due to heredity almost every child would be born with one system failure, i.e. health problem. Humans could not survive with that level of built in illness. Thankfully natural selection keeps us much healthier than that. This Wiki page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genetic_disorders) contains a list of known genetic disorders. Click a link to any childhood disorder and try to find one that occurs in 2% or 3% of children. Most are extremely rare and many occur in 1 out of millions of children.

Without doing any research should we suspect that a common childhood disorder like Scoliosis is a genetic disease?
Although it's possible that children's spines are uniquely weak it's highly unlikely.
You would have to guess that in all likelihood Scoliosis is not typically a genetic disease.

OK, forget theory for a moment.
Sickle Cell hits a couple of percent of children in the Malaria belt so it's possible that Scoliosis is a genetic disease and scientists should check.

Let's do a twin study with a large, representative sample (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8480)
Scientists found that Scoliosis was only 13% concordant among identical twins and 0% concordant among fraternal twins. That's an extremely weak connection.

The collected evidence suggests what natural selection also suggests. It is highly unlikely that Scoliosis is a genetic disease.

concerned dad
04-08-2009, 07:34 PM
The collected evidence suggests what natural selection also suggests. It is highly unlikely that Scoliosis is a genetic disease.

So I guess that you dont think very much of the Axial Biotech test that is supposed to be coming out that is based on (or at least I thought it was based on) genetics. I mean, you make it sound so simple, but these phD guys in Utah are investing tons of money and I would guess that if it was pretty clear they were barking up the wrong tree, well, they wouldnt get the funding and they wouldnt be wasting their time.

So, on one hand, the Occam's razor aspect of your argument is appealing. On the other, it cant be that straightforward, can it?

Regarding natural selection, what if it was a recent mutation? Say 1000 generations ago. How would that effect your argument?

Dingo
04-08-2009, 09:54 PM
concerned dad

The Axial Biotech Scoliscore gene test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ScoliScore) can't determine whether a child will get Scoliosis or not. As I understand it the test looks for genetic markers to determine the likelihood that a curve will progress. Put simply kids with particular genes tend to "break" a certain way. It's likely that all disease processes are influenced by genetics so this might be a great test.

If you gave 100 healthy kids the Scoliscore test many would probably be in the high risk group for progressive Scoliosis. If they had Scoliosis they might have severe curves. But these kids don't have Scoliosis and their backs would be perfectly straight.

Dingo
04-08-2009, 10:45 PM
concerned dad

So, on one hand, the Occam's razor aspect of your argument is appealing. On the other, it cant be that straightforward, can it?

Most of the time it is exactly that straight forward. The exceptions get the attention and there aren't many.

Regarding natural selection, what if it was a recent mutation? Say 1000 generations ago. How would that effect your argument?

In that case I'd expect to see Scoliosis hit a particular group hard and other groups maybe not at all. New genetic disorders have a hard time spreading around the globe but they can survive and even spread for a while in an isolated group that doesn't intermarry.

Tay-Sachs disease (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tay_sachs_disease) hits Jewish people for this reason. Ultimately Tay-Sachs will die out but it may take a long time.

In addition to that relatively new and common genetic diseases can spring up if there is a population bottleneck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_bottleneck) or because of a phenomenon called Founder Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder_effect).

But in both of these cases the disease stays in the group. Intermarriage and/or time tends to wipe out genetic disease.

Scoliosis doesn't look anything like a genetic disease.

It hits children before they've reproduced
It hits 2% to 3% of the population which is particularly common
It's widespread around the globe
It has 13% MZ concordance and 0% DZ concordance which suggests that it occurs almost at random

There isn't a single known genetic disease that looks anything like that.

I was being extra generous when I said that hereditary Scoliosis might hit 1 child in 250. Realistically it's no more common than hereditary deafness which hits about 1 in 2,500. Most genetic disorders impact less than 1 in 10,000 or 20,000 children. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that hereditary Scoliosis was that rare.

Dingo
04-08-2009, 11:20 PM
For arguments sake let's pretend that I'm right. In most cases Scoliosis is not a genetic disease. It appears to have something to do with the nervous system (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) and it's triggered by some type of environmental damage that we haven't been able to discover yet.

What could that be?

Scoliosis has been around for a long time.

Can't be pollution
Can't be pesticides
Can't be vaccines or medicine

The odds are good that Scoliosis is triggered by a microbe. What's left that hits that many kids around the world generation after generation? It would probably work like a cross between Poliomyelitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio) and Diabetes mellitus type 1 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305141639.htm). Time will tell if I'm correct but I'm pretty confident.

Does this picture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Polio_sequelle.jpg) remind you of anything?

PNUTTRO
04-09-2009, 07:14 AM
Let me try one more time.

All disease, has a genetic component and an environmental component. Geneticists have calculations that allow them to measure the contribution of
genes to a specific phenotype. Everything else is environment. Genetic disorders fall into different categories.

Does this fit your model so far? Maybe we are both saying the same thing. I'm not sure.

The rare and usually fatal disorders affecting children are typically transmitted in a recessive fashion and a person only exhibits a symptoms when two people with the same allele have progeny. And then the two alleles must come together in the same individual. A perfect storm--so to speak. eg Tay Sach's and cystic fibrosis--which can be traced to a founder by the way. It doesn't mean that an allele disappears from a population. It always exists at a low frequency.

Other disorders, such as NF2, have a dominant transmission

Scoliosis doesn't fall into either of these categories. It behaves more like Type II diabetes where there are several genes that in combination contribute to the illness. But not every person with Type II diabetes has this predisposition either. Fortunately, we know a lot about sugar metabolism and how to control blood sugar.

The way Karen described her family, there is likely to be a new mutation in her family that causes scoliosis. Your comments implied that a hypothetical scoliosis gene could not exist, simply isn't true. I wanted you to explain what you meant, not make a glib comment.

You have been considering "environment" to be a limit set of factors--mostly pathogens. I think that this is faulty reasoning. I consider "environment" to be "life on this planet". Forgive me if it is vague, but it includes everything that I can't think of. Also, it gives me some leverage when someone tells me I am wrong.



I will make one more assumption. I think you are young. I would guess less than 25. You can comment on that or not--doesn't matter.

The axial test is bunk, in my opinion--it doesn't change anyone's outcome.

The National Center for Biotechnology information has a great database called OMIM. Its kind of like Cribb notes for genes.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 09:43 AM
PNUTTRO

I will make one more assumption. I think you are young. I would guess less than 25. You can comment on that or not--doesn't matter.

I'm happy to accept the compliment but unfortunately I'm older than that. I'm 39.

Pooka1
04-09-2009, 09:45 AM
To set the record straight, Dingo used the word "simple" to describe the word knowledge, not the word biology.

Sharon, you misquoted PNUTTRO who misquoted Dingo.

Neither biology itself, nor a knowledge of biology, assuming these are even different, is "simple."

If any of it were simple, we wouldn't have so much work remaining in finding cures for various conditions.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 10:07 AM
All disease, has a genetic component and an environmental component.

PNUTTRO is factually correct on that statement. All disease or for that matter all biological phenomenon that have ever occured on earth are the result of both genetic and environmental factors.

Scoliosis has a 13% MZ (identical twin) and 0% DZ (fraternal twin) concordance rate which suggests an unusually low genetic contribution.

MZ concordance for Scoliosis would need to be 4x higher to equal Tuberculosis (MZ 53, DZ 21) or Leprosy (MZ 59, DZ 10). Neither TB nor Leprosy are considered "genetic disorders", both are triggered by bacterium.

While it is certainly possible that Karen's family shares a rare genetic mutation that triggers Scoliosis knowledgable scientists could offer other good explanations. I suspect that Scoliosis is triggered by infectious disease. If someday that is proven true it's easy to understand how one family might be hit hard by a disorder like Scoliosis.

Polio by David Oshinsky (http://books.google.com/books?id=wXv2_XLEVMEC&pg=PA164&lpg=PA164&dq=a+case+in+which+five+children+from+one+family+h ad+contracted+bulbar+polio&source=bl&ots=SG3-xnhiHh&sig=ezErxekXCoii16xRZsdmul6xsdo&hl=en&ei=zhbeSc3ZMZrslQexzfFO&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1)

"The message from Mapleton and Milwaukee was especially dire. Polio not only struck children individually, it devestated entire families as well."

"Thomas Francis had studied a case in which five children from one family had contracted bulbar polio and three had died."

concerned dad
04-09-2009, 11:40 AM
Shattered Myths

OK, First you guys convince me we don’t know if bracing is effective, then you convince me that Scoliosis is not genetic. What’s next? Both of those things I just assumed was a given. You had best keep the Easter Bunny and Santa out of this.

I suspect that a play on words is involved with both bracing and the genetic thing. We (may) know that bracing is effective at limiting curve progression but we don’t know if it limits the need for surgery.
In the same way, you folks seem to be working in terms like “susceptibility gene” and “low genetic contribution” and “considered” a genetic disorder.

So, am I correct to assume that in the same way bracing may “work” (ie, it may do something, whatever that something is), scoliosis is genetic (ie it HAS a genetic component, but maybe not enough of a component to be “considered” a genetic disorder). By my admittedly naive way of thinking, there is not much difference between a susceptibility gene for scoliosis and a scoliosis gene. Although I am guessing now that there is a big difference and there are implications which are beyond my ability to comprehend.

I suppose I have to wonder just how large a genetic component is necessary before it is “considered” a genetic disorder. And just exactly, what ARE the implications. I would ask Karen: when you say you believe scoliosis is genetic, do you draw the distinction between a susceptibility gene and a scoliosis gene, or are you like me and sort of consider them basically the same?

Finally, I understand now where P was coming from wrt taking offense at D’s “simple” comment. I wasn’t offended and I don’t think it was meant to be offensive. Whenever I hear someone say something like “it is obvious to the most casual observer” I can be fairly certain it is not going to be obvious to me.

One more thing just for fun, regarding age, check out the attached.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 12:55 PM
concerned dad

Bracing I'm not sure of. I would guess that it probably does work for some kids, especially those with small curves. But that's just my assumption.

Genetics I'm sure of.
Here is a simple way to think of a susceptability gene vs. a disease gene.

A disease gene makes you sick, i.e. Sickle Cell

A susceptability gene makes you susceptible to the thing that makes you sick, i.e. flu genes discovered (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/3538487/Scientists-pinpoint-flu-gene.html)

An unlucky combination of "vulnerable" genes could explain why some people recover from the flu overnight and others struggle to shake off the virus for weeks.


Finally, I understand now where P was coming from wrt taking offense at D’s “simple” comment.

I think people tend to project their own feelings and motives onto other people's statements. I was trying to make a completely different point.

I don't believe that Scoliosis is genetic. I strongly suspect it's triggered by infectious disease. I didn't arrive at those conclusions using any special scientific knowledge or skills. It took me a few hours plus a basic understanding of natural selection, mathematics and process of elimination.

If the identical twin condordance rate for Scoliosis was 50% or 60% my opinion would be the same.

concerned dad
04-09-2009, 04:09 PM
It took me a few hours plus a basic understanding of natural selection, mathematics and process of elimination.

Well, I hope you dont think me an idiot if it takes me a bit longer
:o



Here is a simple way to think of a susceptability gene vs. a disease gene.


I guess I am looking for a yes or no on this,

If there is a susceptability gene for something, does that mean that something is "genetic"?

I would have thought .... Yes.
But I am guessing both Dingo and PNUTTRO will say ....No.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 04:15 PM
concerned dad

I should mention that not only can a susceptability gene raise the odds that someone will have an illness it can also make someone more susceptible to the disease process.

For instance people with Gene A don't have Scoliosis at a higher rate than any other group. However if someone with Gene A ends up with Scoliosis their curve will progress very fast. Natural selection can't get rid of Gene A because most children don't get Scoliosis and it offers some other significant benefit to healthy children.

That's the kind of gene that the Axial genetic test is looking for. Every person could take the test to determine their chance of curve progression but obviously the answer only matters if someone has Scoliosis.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 04:22 PM
concerned dad

Whoops, I didn't see you had just posted while I was posting. :eek:

If there is a susceptability gene for something, does that mean that something is "genetic"?

No. If we looked long enough we'd find susceptability genes for every single physical problem that affects mankind. That includes everything from Psoriasis to gunshot wounds. Genes matter for everything. But that doesn't make every disorder, illness or accident a "genetic" disease.

Flu is still caused by Flu virus whether you have genes that are good or bad at stopping it.

In addition if Flu virus invades your body and causes your immune system to go haywire on itself that is not a genetic disease.

concerned dad
04-09-2009, 04:56 PM
OK, so i googled the question
"When is a disease considered genetic" and found the following which would seem to contradict what you say.

A genetic disorder, or genetic disease, is a disease caused by abnormal expression of one or more genes in a person causing a clinical phenotype. <snip - they talk about Single gene disorders which I would guess is your definition of a genetic disease, but then they go on to discuss, emphasis added is mine > Genetic disorders may also be complex, multifactorial or polygenic, this means that they are likely associated with the effects of multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors. Multifactoral disorders include heart disease and diabetes. Although complex disorders often cluster in families, they do not have a clear-cut pattern of inheritance. This makes it difficult to determine a person’s risk of inheriting or passing on these disorders. Complex disorders are also difficult to study and treat because the specific factors that cause most of these disorders have not yet been identified.

So by the definition used by this source scoliosis would be considered a "genetic disease". Maybe a complex genetic disease, a multifactorial genetic disease or a polygenic genetic disease.

So, when you and P say that scoliosis is not a genetic disease, perhaps it would be better to say "Scolioisis is not a Single Gene genetic disease".

:confused:

concerned dad
04-09-2009, 05:08 PM
I couldnt help myself, I had to add this one too. Especially for Sharon (you never know what youre going to find when you google something)

Genetic diseases could be a single gene disorder or they may be multi-factorial involving more than one gene even other non-genetic environmental factors. Single-gene disorders could be autosomal or X-linked. As part of the parity principle of human creation, each gene is in pairs one from each parent with the possibility of a dominant or recessive combination. Mutations and chromosomal damage can alter the body’s growth or metabolic processes resulting in disease. These operate through disturbances of protein and enzyme synthesis or function. Molecular diagnosis and gene therapy are growing fields and will give rise to a different understanding of pathology. <edit - on second thought, I wouldnt want to offend anyone, if you didnt suscribe to the thread, you have no idea what I'm talking about>.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 05:21 PM
multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors

By that definition every disease could be considered a genetic disease.

Lifestyle might mean smoking

Environmental might mean radiation exposure

If you had anti-cigarette or anti-radiation genes you wouldn't get cancer from these carcinogens. So I guess looked at from that angle every disease could be considered a type of genetic illness.

concerned dad
04-09-2009, 05:43 PM
I guess what we need is a definition

How about one from the Human Genome Project (http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/medicine/assist.shtml)

Once again, I think it comes down to semantics. I think Karen and I adopted the multifactorial definition (as for me, I did it without knowing the difference), Dingo focused on the single gene thing and P got upset because she knew it wasnt as simple as all that. (guessing on the "she" thing P because Pam called you "sister", correct me if I am wrong)

But Dingo has a good point, it is a pretty broad definition. And I suppose, the math and science involved to determine that scoliosis is NOT a single gene genetic disorder (nor a Mendelian Genetic disorder, nor a monogenic disorder) is simple.

I think I learned something today.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 05:48 PM
Concerned Dad

From the human genome project definition of genetic disease

Examples include heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

What they are saying is that any disorder that affects humans is a genetic disease.

I wonder why the HUMAN GENOME PROJECT would define it that way? :rolleyes:

Somebody needs to ask the Human Genome Project which diseases aren't genetic and why.

Dingo
04-09-2009, 05:59 PM
I just checked the genetic disorder page on Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genetic_disorders)

I see Angelman's, Cystic Fibrosis, Color Blindness and Haemophilia.... but no mention of arthritis or heart disease. :)

Dingo
04-09-2009, 06:31 PM
Genetic diseases could be a single gene disorder or they may be multi-factorial involving more than one gene even other non-genetic environmental factors.

Off the top of my head the only diseases I can think of that aren't multi-factorial are genetic diseases. Sickle Cell is the result of genetic programming pure and simple. Color Blindness and Haemophilia are the same. If you've got the genes you've got the disorder.

Every other type of disease is multi-factorial. Genes play a part in everything.

concerned dad
04-09-2009, 06:36 PM
You didnt look far enough.:cool:
Genetic disorders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_disorders) from Wiki (maybe not the best source)

Genetic disorders may also be complex, multifactorial or polygenic, this means that they are likely associated with the effects of multiple genes in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors. Multifactoral disorders include heart disease and diabetes

Pooka1
04-09-2009, 07:07 PM
I couldnt help myself, I had to add this one too. Especially for Sharon (you never know what youre going to find when you google something)

(snip quoted material that I cold barely follow)

Hey CD, not sure what about this material is meant for me... maybe the stuff you edited out?

I noted the use of the word "creation" which is so larded down with nonsense that I'm guessing this is from a non-scientific site?

Dingo
04-09-2009, 10:41 PM
Using that broad standard even respriratory infections could be considered multi-factorial genetic diseases.

A) A man has a flu susceptability gene
B) This man is under stress at work which lowers his immune system
C) He runs into the flu virus at a restaraunt

Due to this combination of genes, environment and circumstance he catches the flu and is sick for 1 week.

Dingo
04-10-2009, 12:25 PM
I think I'm going to start a Human Stress Disorder Project and apply for some government funding.

Here is my new definition:

Stress Disorder
A stress disorder is a disease caused by the negative effects of stress on the body. Stress disorders can be complex and multifactorial. This means they can be associated with multiple stressors in combination with genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors. Common stress disorders include heart disease, depression and diabetes.

concerned dad
04-10-2009, 04:29 PM
Using that broad standard even respriratory infections could be considered multi-factorial genetic diseases.

A) A man has a flu susceptability gene
B) This man is under stress at work which lowers his immune system
C) He runs into the flu virus at a restaraunt

Due to this combination of genes, environment and circumstance he catches the flu and is sick for 1 week.

I suppose, but I was really hoping you would use the gunshot wound susceptability gene as an example
:rolleyes:

My point is, it boils down to defining the term.
We didnt make it up (maybe the HGP did)
I googled "multifactorial genetic disease" and got 731 hits.

Do you agree that Scoliosis is likely a multi-factorial genetic disease?
I suppose you would.
And I recognize that is NOT what you (or P) meant when you both said it was not a genetic disease.

Karen Ocker
04-10-2009, 05:12 PM
When I was treated for scoliosis at age 13 we asked if it could have come from polio--because many children had polio those days. None of us(with scoliosis in my family) had polio. Apparently, my Doctor (John Cobb) could tell by examining us that we did not have curves resulting from polio. I really do not know how they could tell. I had fellow teens with mothers and sisters with scoliosis who did not have polio and I had one fellow patient with scoliosis who had polio and was in a wheelchair. Perhaps the scoliosis from polio arose from muscle weakness and a physical exam could show that.

There is so much we really do not know--and we do not know what we do not know-- but no one could convince me it's not genetically modulated. As a matter of fact, while I was working at Columbia-Presbyterian in the 1970s-1990 we were told it was 85% in girls(the 'idiopathic type') a sex linked genetic expression with mixed dominance.
I do not know if further research has clarified that.

One problem with genetics, that unless we unearth our ancestors, we really do not know who had what gene and what disease because: we do not have their medical history and many people died in infancy,as young adults or middle age. My maternal grandmother-who did not have scoliosis-- could not tell us if her mother had scoliosis because my maternal great-grandmother died from typhus when my grandmother was 4. My maternal first cousin has scoliosis. (Mother's sister's daughter).

How can we really make a correct assumption about a new mutation???

Dingo
04-10-2009, 08:32 PM
Karen Ocker

but no one could convince me it's not genetically modulated.

It's absolutely possible that you have a rare genetic disorder that caused your Scoliosis. If hereditary Scoliosis is as common as hereditary deafness that's approximately 1 in 2500 kids. You could be one of those kids.

But the study from Denmark suggests that Scoliosis is probably not a genetic disease for most children.

Scoliosis hits 2% of children around the world. No genetic disorder looks like that, especially one with a 13% MZ concordance rate.

I don't think that Scoliosis is caused specifically by Polio virus. But I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it's caused by a virus or microbe.

In many ways Scoliosis looks like Polio. (http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=polio&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi)
Both of these disorders hit millions of children around the globe.

Dingo
04-10-2009, 08:51 PM
concerned dad

I was really hoping you would use the gunshot wound susceptability gene as an example

I considered the gunshot idea but then I realized that the "Humans Stress Disorder Project" was more likely to get government funding. :)

Karen Ocker
04-11-2009, 09:03 AM
Dingo:

What are you doing about your child?? What have you found out about his scoliosis and is it progressing? Does he have any spinal cord issues or are there any vertebral abnormalities??? This should be your priority.

As far as scoliosis genetics/causes go--- all your research about causes in other people will not help your child. One study(Danish) cannot "prove" that scoliosis has no genetic origin. There are different types of scoliosis that manifest themselves at different times in the life cycle-congenital, infantile, childhood, adolescent and de-novo in adults.

A meta analysis-a compiled study of many studies- would hold more validity. It takes time to do this and many years.
Some studies have not been done at all because there is no funding or no interest.

What concerns me about your posts is that you seem to put forth as "proof" citations about a single study, studies which don't necessarily apply(animals), and a discounting of evidence based science when you don't seem to like the results. I'm not sure you have the knowledge or scientific background to do this.
Speaking for myself, as a medical professional and a person with scoliosis, I find this very disturbing.

How in the world is, all this energy put into this, helping your child? Isn't this why you are on this forum???

PNUTTRO
04-11-2009, 09:14 AM
For instance people with Gene A don't have Scoliosis at a higher rate than any other group. However if someone with Gene A ends up with Scoliosis their curve will progress very fast. Natural selection can't get rid of Gene A because most children don't get Scoliosis and it offers some other significant benefit to healthy children.

That is NOT how natural selection works. Natural selection doesn't get rid of scoliosis because is does not kill the individual before reproducing. The only way that a scoliosis gene would not transmit is if the curve made people so hideously ugly that no one would ever have sex with them.


So, when you and P say that scoliosis is not a genetic disease, perhaps it would be better to say "Scolioisis is not a Single Gene genetic disease".

See Post #71. Maybe I wasn't clear.


If you had anti-cigarette or anti-radiation genes you wouldn't get cancer from these carcinogens. So I guess looked at from that angle every disease could be considered a type of genetic illness.

Actually, those are different because they are mutagens and cause genetic damage.


I see Angelman's, Cystic Fibrosis, Color Blindness and Haemophilia.... but no mention of arthritis or heart disease.

Those are all single gene disorders. Arthritis and heart disease fall into the complex category. A strong family history is a bigger factor for a heart attack than obesity.


Off the top of my head the only diseases I can think of that aren't multi-factorial are genetic diseases. Sickle Cell is the result of genetic programming pure and simple. Color Blindness and Haemophilia are the same. If you've got the genes you've got the disorder.

That isn't true either. That is why we have genetic testing. It requires two copies of the disease gene to cause disease. You can carry the mutation and never have the disorder. Look up recessive inheritance. This is high school biology.


in girls(the 'idiopathic type') a sex linked genetic expression with mixed dominance.

That I can believe! Don't worry Karen. Dingo won't let go. I just don't want too many people believing he is an expert. Frankly, I don't have the time. I shouldn't be here now, but the kids are still in bed.

concerned dad
04-11-2009, 12:59 PM
I just reread the whole thread, especially P's post 71.



Let me try one more time.

All disease, has a genetic component and an environmental component. Geneticists have calculations that allow them to measure the contribution of
genes to a specific phenotype. Everything else is environment. Genetic disorders fall into different categories.

Does this fit your model so far? Maybe we are both saying the same thing. I'm not sure.

The rare and usually fatal disorders affecting children are typically transmitted in a recessive fashion and a person only exhibits a symptoms when two people with the same allele have progeny. And then the two alleles must come together in the same individual. A perfect storm--so to speak. eg Tay Sach's and cystic fibrosis--which can be traced to a founder by the way. It doesn't mean that an allele disappears from a population. It always exists at a low frequency.

Other disorders, such as NF2, have a dominant transmission

Correct me if I am wrong please
Regarding the environmental factor, When P says "all disease", you mean all disease except the very rare single gene genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis. Am I correct to assume that those rare single gene genetic diseases DO NOT have an environmental component. (even with P's broad definition of environment).

And, when Dingo asserts that scoliosis is not genetic, he is referring to that very rare thing P mentions, the single gene scenario.



Scoliosis doesn't fall into either of these categories. It behaves more like Type II diabetes where there are several genes that in combination contribute to the illness. But not every person with Type II diabetes has this predisposition either. Fortunately, we know a lot about sugar metabolism and how to control blood sugar.

The way Karen described her family, there is likely to be a new mutation in her family that causes scoliosis. Your comments implied that a hypothetical scoliosis gene could not exist, simply isn't true. I wanted you to explain what you meant, not make a glib comment.

You have been considering "environment" to be a limit set of factors--mostly pathogens. I think that this is faulty reasoning. I consider "environment" to be "life on this planet". Forgive me if it is vague, but it includes everything that I can't think of. Also, it gives me some leverage when someone tells me I am wrong.


Regarding unique Karens family history, P says it is "likely" that a new mutation is involved, Dingo says it is "possible, but not likely".
This part still has me confused but I am tending to lean towards Dingo's view on that point. Would love to have P's view explained. I didnt think Karens situation was all that unique as (I thought) there were a lot of people who could list a long line of family members w/ scoliosis.


That is NOT how natural selection works. Natural selection doesn't get rid of scoliosis because is does not kill the individual before reproducing. The only way that a scoliosis gene would not transmit is if the curve made people so hideously ugly that no one would ever have sex with them.

This seems extreme, I thought natural selection could act on even the slightest benefit or detriment of a genetic expression.

Dingo
04-11-2009, 02:16 PM
PNUTTRO

Natural selection doesn't get rid of scoliosis because is does not kill the individual before reproducing. The only way that a scoliosis gene would not transmit is if the curve made people so hideously ugly that no one would ever have sex with them.

You are incorrect about how natural selection works. For a gene to succeed it has to spread to the next generation at the same rate as other genes. Even a slight reduction in fitness can ensure a gene's extinction over time.

The girl in this photo (http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org/programs/2005/04/09/images/slide_01_polio.jpg) has Polio. This girl may have gotten married and had a large family. But what about a thousand girls with Polio? Would they average the same success rate? If mild Polio was a genetic disease it wouldn't last long even if it never killed a single child.

Dingo
04-11-2009, 02:22 PM
Karen Ocker

One study(Danish) cannot "prove" that scoliosis has no genetic origin.

You are correct that one study is never definitive. However the Danish twin study is credible and I doubt it will be overturned. When another study confirms it's findings you won't hear a lot of talk about Scoliosis being a genetic disease any longer.

To be honest I didn't need the Danish twin study in order to form an opinion on this. From the beginning it was very unlikely that a common, childhood disease like Scoliosis would be a genetic disorder.

txmarinemom
04-11-2009, 02:43 PM
Dingo,

Like Karen, I'm puzzled how your lay interpretation of a seemingly endless supply of one-of, unproven and questionable studies is going to help your child (or anyone else's for that matter) TODAY. Not only are you not helping, you could be doing harm. Did you join the forum to help your kid (he of the 10° curve that is barely even scoliosis, and for all you know could self-resolve) or blog?

Your continued argument with a researcher who does this for a living (when you've already said you simply "read a lot" and are NOT an expert) is amusing.

At this point I'm tempted to propose a new drinking game for every time you (the non-expert) tell P (the expert) "you're incorrect": I bet I could find some Syrian hamsters who'd eagerly play - and at the current frequency of said statement - stay pretty satisfied :rolleyes:.

concerned dad
04-11-2009, 04:38 PM
If a person with scoliosis was slightly less fucund and had 3 children and a person w/o had 4, then that would be sufficient for natural selection to work (if the scoliosis was genetic).

The condition actually killing the indivudal before reproduction is not necessary and P is either wrong or made an oversimplification. All that is necessary is a small difference in reproductive success.

On this point, I would guess that P would concede she overstated the issue. (perhaps in an attempt to dumb it down or simplify it).
But, differential reproductive success would not require the extreme situation she put forth (hideously ugly ...).

Dingo
04-11-2009, 04:44 PM
Several of you have expressed concern about my son and I'd like to thank you for your thoughts. He has his followup in May and I'll let you know how it goes.

Dingo
04-11-2009, 05:49 PM
concerned dad

I didnt think Karens situation was all that unique as (I thought) there were a lot of people who could list a long line of family members w/ scoliosis.

Some families are prone to cervical cancer (caused by HPV (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/risk/HPV)) or multiple sclerosis (caused by Epstein-Barr (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24678376-5006786,00.html)) or Type 1 Diabetes (caused by Enterovirus (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305141639.htm)) or Alzheimers (caused by Herpes 1 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207134109.htm)) or probably any other health condition no matter what the cause.

Karen's story is sad, but it's also normal. Diseases of every type can hit particular families hard.

Pooka1
04-11-2009, 06:32 PM
Scoliosis associated with Marfan's, given that Marfan's is entirely and completely genetic, is entirely and completely genetic, no?

I am having trouble following this thread I must admit.

Love,
NOT a biologist

Dingo
04-11-2009, 07:13 PM
Pooka1

That's interesting, I didn't know that Marfan's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marfan_syndrome) was associated with Scoliosis. It makes sense because Marfan's distorts the skeleton. Marfan's hits 1 child in 5,000 which makes it approximately 100 times rarer than Scoliosis.


The most readily visible signs are associated with the skeletal system. Many individuals with Marfan Syndrome grow to above average height. Some have long slender limbs with fingers and toes that are also abnormally long and slender (arachnodactyly). This long, slender body habitus and long, slender limbs are known as dolichostenomelia. An individual's arms may be disproportionately long, with thin, weak wrists. In addition to affecting height and limb proportions, Marfan syndrome can produce other skeletal signs. Abnormal curvature of the spine (scoliosis) is common, as is abnormal indentation (pectus excavatum) or protrusion (pectus carinatum) of the sternum. Other signs include abnormal joint flexibility, a high palate, malocclusions, flat feet, hammer toes, stooped shoulders, unexplained stretch marks on the skin and thin wrists. It can also cause pain in the joints, bones and muscles in some patients. Some people with Marfan have speech disorders resulting from symptomatic high palates and small jaws.

concerned dad
04-11-2009, 07:15 PM
Alzheimers (caused by Herpes 1 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207134109.htm)) .

Oh no, I really wish you hadnt said that
:eek:

Dingo
04-11-2009, 10:11 PM
Sadly herpes causes more than cold sores, an embarassing STD and Alzheimers.

If a pregnant mom has it she can give her unborn child Cerebral Palsy (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm).

It's bad stuff.

Pooka1
04-11-2009, 10:29 PM
Sadly herpes causes more than cold sores, an embarassing STD and Alzheimers.

If a pregnant mom has it she can give her unborn child Cerebral Palsy (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm).

It's bad stuff.

That's some fancy "intelligent" design. :cool:

txmarinemom
04-11-2009, 11:10 PM
If a person with scoliosis was slightly less fucund and had 3 children and a person w/o had 4, then that would be sufficient for natural selection to work (if the scoliosis was genetic).

The condition actually killing the indivudal before reproduction is not necessary and P is either wrong or made an oversimplification. All that is necessary is a small difference in reproductive success.

On this point, I would guess that P would concede she overstated the issue. (perhaps in an attempt to dumb it down or simplify it).
But, differential reproductive success would not require the extreme situation she put forth (hideously ugly ...).

How cute you're now so intuitive/cognizant. Look who you've been following and make your own judgement. Who's the expert, CD? If it's Dingo, I'll eat my hardware.

I suspect the hamsters are happy ... drinking (vs. *this). I see you finally *maybe* see the folly of Dingo's posts ...

For YOUR sake, I *hope* so.

Dingo
04-11-2009, 11:47 PM
All figured extrapolated from the Wiki page on Polio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poliomyelitis) and Scoliosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoliosis)

If 10000 children are infected with Polio

9000 to 9500 experience no negative symptoms
400 to 800 get mildly sick but make a full recovery
100 to 200 experience Aseptic Meningitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aseptic_meningitis) but make a full recovery
5 to 25 will experience paralytic polio but make a full recovery
5 to 25 will experience paralytic polio and suffer permanent disability or even death

By comparison

Out of 10000 children

200 to 300 suffer from a curve greater than 10 degrees
4 suffer from a curve greater than 20 degrees

The 10 degree curve group is roughly equal to the Aseptic Meningitis group for Polio.
The 20 degree curve group is roughly equal to the permanent disability group for Polio.

PNUTTRO
04-12-2009, 07:22 AM
You are incorrect about how natural selection works. For a gene to succeed it has to spread to the next generation at the same rate as other genes. Even a slight reduction in fitness can ensure a gene's extinction over time.

Then what is the positive selective pressure for achondroplasia?

"achondroplasia, for instance, are known from records and depictions from the Roman and medieval periods (such as in the Bayeux Tapestry), but archaeological evidence for the condition exists as far back as the Late Upper Palaeolithic in Italy, and a single British example from the Neolithic has been tentatively diagnosed. " (http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba10/BA10FEAT.HTML)

PNUTTRO
04-12-2009, 07:28 AM
All figured extrapolated from the Wiki page on Polio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poliomyelitis) and Scoliosis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoliosis)

If 10000 children are infected with Polio

9000 to 9500 experience no negative symptoms
400 to 800 get mildly sick but make a full recovery
100 to 200 experience Aseptic Meningitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aseptic_meningitis) but make a full recovery
5 to 25 will experience paralytic polio but make a full recovery
5 to 25 will experience paralytic polio and suffer permanent disability or even death

By comparison

Out of 10000 children

200 to 300 suffer from a curve greater than 10 degrees
4 suffer from a curve greater than 20 degrees

The 10 degree curve group is roughly equal to the Aseptic Meningitis group for Polio.
The 20 degree curve group is roughly equal to the permanent disability group for Polio.

How is this evidence?

I think that you want scoliosis to NOT be genetic because that gets you off the hook. If its genetic, then maybe your genes are what caused your son's problem. (Which is also some F***ed up reasoning--and untrue.)

Dingo
04-12-2009, 10:00 AM
PNUTTRO

I think that you want scoliosis to NOT be genetic because that gets you off the hook.

Any disorder that hits 2% to 3% of children around the globe is highly unlikely to be a genetic disease. The Danish twin study was the nail in the coffin of what was a shaky concept to begin with. If you know of a genetic disease that common and widespread in children please post it. Let me save you some trouble, nothing like it exists.

However in spite of that you happen to believe that Scoliosis is a genetic disease. Fair enough, we disagree on that point.

As a responsible adult who believes that Scoliosis is a genetic disorder and knows the suffering first hand you didn't have kids, right?

Pooka1
04-12-2009, 10:07 AM
Then what is the positive selective pressure for achondroplasia?

"achondroplasia, for instance, are known from records and depictions from the Roman and medieval periods (such as in the Bayeux Tapestry), but archaeological evidence for the condition exists as far back as the Late Upper Palaeolithic in Italy, and a single British example from the Neolithic has been tentatively diagnosed. " (http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba10/BA10FEAT.HTML)

Upper Paleolithic = between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago.

In other words, prior to the Big Bang. ;)

Dingo
04-12-2009, 10:45 AM
PNUTTRO

Achondroplasia Dwarfism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achondroplasia) is a very rare genetic disorder.


Achondroplasia is one of several congenital conditions with similar presentations, such as osteogenesis imperfecta, multiple epiphyseal dysplasia tarda, achondrogenesis, osteopetrosis, and thanatophoric dysplasia. This makes estimates of prevalence difficult, with changing and subjective diagnostic criteria over time. One detailed and long-running study in the Netherlands found that the prevalence determined at birth was only 1.3 per 100,000 live births. However, another study at the same time found a rate of 1 per 10,000.

1 child out of thousands or less is typical for a genetic disease. If a genetic disease is found in an isolated group the magnitude can grow considerably. Scoliosis is extremely common and not a regional or group specific disorder.

concerned dad
04-12-2009, 12:51 PM
Originally Posted by concerned dad

If a person with scoliosis was slightly less fucund and had 3 children and a person w/o had 4, then that would be sufficient for natural selection to work (if the scoliosis was genetic).

The condition actually killing the indivudal before reproduction is not necessary and P is either wrong or made an oversimplification. All that is necessary is a small difference in reproductive success.

On this point, I would guess that P would concede she overstated the issue. (perhaps in an attempt to dumb it down or simplify it).
But, differential reproductive success would not require the extreme situation she put forth (hideously ugly ...).

How cute you're now so intuitive/cognizant. Look who you've been following and make your own judgement. Who's the expert, CD? If it's Dingo, I'll eat my hardware.

I suspect the hamsters are happy ... drinking (vs. *this). I see you finally *maybe* see the folly of Dingo's posts ...

For YOUR sake, I *hope* so.Look, I "follow" no one and I try to learn from everyone. I respect P’s contribution to this discussion. I also respect Dingo’s contribution. You see Pam, the funny thing is, on the main issue, they are both essentially saying the same thing. Is that the cute part?

I was very fortunate that a professor who studied under Stephen J Gould at Harvard came to teach at the university where I spent 10 years of my life. This professor was one of the most interesting and engaging lecturers I have ever heard. He was a paleontologist and not surprisingly, as a SJ Gould protégé, he often spoke of not only evolution, but the tempo of evolutionary change (Gould introduced the concept of punctuated equilibrium, well worth a google search). I took a few courses with this professor and attended some seminars. Entirely unrelated to my career, I just found them interesting electives. (I received a B in his graduate level course which was the only B I received in grad school. I essentially traded a 4.0 for the opportunity to learn from this fellow and I would do it again in a heartbeat). But, the concept of the pace of evolutionary change was something that stuck with me. Even Gould’s punctuated changes which are considered rapid by geologic time scales, take many generations to resolve.

So, when P says


Natural selection doesn't get rid of scoliosis because is does not kill the individual before reproducing. The only way that a scoliosis gene would not transmit is if the curve made people so hideously ugly that no one would ever have sex with them.

I KNOW it is wrong. I allowed for the possibility, even likelihood, that it was an overstatement. I don’t know how else to politely say those statements are incorrect.

Talking about being incorrect, why is it that I feel like I am the only person here who can admit when they are wrong or inaccurate about something?

Come on P, tell Pam those two sentences above are not correct.

And Dingo, for the love of God, please just say that you were referring to the single gene genetic disorder when you said


in all likelihood Scoliosis is not typically a genetic disease
and when you continue to say essentially the same thing.

As an important aside (and maybe the only worthwhile thing in this post), Gould wrote an inspirational paper after his initial diagnosis with cancer in the early 80’s., "The Median is not the Message (http://www.cancerguide.org/median_not_msg.html)," . I would recommend it to anyone who has received, or has a loved one who received, a diagnosis of a disease with a bad prognosis.

Dingo
04-12-2009, 02:08 PM
Concerned Dad

And Dingo, for the love of God, please just say that you were referring to the single gene genetic disorder when you said

If that twin study means anything it's that Scoliosis is not a single gene or for that matter multi gene disorder. That doesn't mean that genes aren't involved. Common genes and gene combinations have the potential to make someone susceptible to every manner of disease or disease process. There is no logical reason to suspect that Scoliosis is different. The 13% MZ and 0% DZ concordance rates suggest that genes play some role although in most cases probably a small one.

Genetic susceptability aside I believe the evidence strongly suggests that Scoliosis is triggered by a microbe. I am confident that if we knew what to vaccinate against Scoliosis would disappear like Polio and so many other childhood diseases. To a few people on this thread that statement burns like holy water. In ten years time I doubt their opinion will be the same. I hope they are alive and still have enough mental faculties remaining to remember this thread. ;)

Dingo
04-12-2009, 02:42 PM
The article was very comforting.

My son caught Scoliosis at the worst possible time. He was diagnosed at age 5 but probably had it since at least age 3.

However...

He is in otherwise perfect health
He lives in a happy home with a close extended family
He is a boy and their curves tend to progress slower and end smaller
He has an excellent doctor
We've maximized his natural Melatonin production which may potentially slow curve progression
He'll probably still be dealing with this 8 or 10 years from now but by then there may be more advanced therapies

He is in the worst group but he has a lot of other things in his favor. I pray that the worst he has to endure is night bracing.

Dingo
04-12-2009, 10:40 PM
This study looked into heredity.

Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf)

All participants in this study had scoliosis that progressed to surgery. These are the tough cases. Out of all the children who are genetically susceptible to Scoliosis these kids are probably in pole position.

From the study

Hereditary links were established by asking the patients and their relatives about the presence or not of a spinal deformity affecting a family member.

Out of 41 participants only 15 (36%) had 1 or more family members with a spinal deformity of some type. "Spinal deformity" is a pretty wide net. I wonder what the numbers would have been if they kept it to Scoliosis.

If you picked any child at random wouldn't you guess that he had a 36% chance to have 1 relative in his extended family with some type of spinal deformity? Spinal deformities are fairly common. Scoliosis by itself occurs in 2% to 3% of children. 36% sounds about right. If that number is higher than average I doubt it's by all that much.

Pooka1
04-13-2009, 07:37 AM
I was very fortunate that a professor who studied under Stephen J Gould at Harvard came to teach at the university where I spent 10 years of my life. This professor was one of the most interesting and engaging lecturers I have ever heard. He was a paleontologist and not surprisingly, as a SJ Gould protégé, he often spoke of not only evolution, but the tempo of evolutionary change (Gould introduced the concept of punctuated equilibrium, well worth a google search). I took a few courses with this professor and attended some seminars. Entirely unrelated to my career, I just found them interesting electives. (I received a B in his graduate level course which was the only B I received in grad school. I essentially traded a 4.0 for the opportunity to learn from this fellow and I would do it again in a heartbeat). But, the concept of the pace of evolutionary change was something that stuck with me. Even Gould’s punctuated changes which are considered rapid by geologic time scales, take many generations to resolve.

Wow that is so cool, CD.


Talking about being incorrect, why is it that I feel like I am the only person here who can admit when they are wrong or inaccurate about something?

I've said it to you before... you are extremely open-minded. That is a rare quality. Science training involves being open-minded and you obviously have had good training. It's the opposite of having a mind gripped in dogma. It's the folks who can evaluate evidence for all positions and make up their own mind based on that evidence who advance specific fields in particular and thinking in general. Opinions converge when many folks understand the evidence.

In my opinion, you approach this as a scientist. In other words, you get it.

Dingo
05-24-2009, 12:36 PM
Background

On my son's 4th birthday his pediatrician noticed a small rib hump. He did not take an x-ray and he told us to watch and wait. On Scott's 5th birthday the rib hump had increased and his pediatrician sent us to a scoliosis specialist. My son was diagnosed with a 12 degree thorocolumbar curve.

How fast had his curve been progressing?
From old movies we can tell that his curve started sometime between the age of 2 and 3.5. This means that his curve had been progressing at a rate between 4 and 8 degrees per year.
Start age 2 = 4 degrees per year
Start age 3 = 6 degrees per year
Start age 3.5 = 8 degrees per year

What we did
Around 2 months after Scott's official diagnosis we blacked out his room to increase his natural prodution of Melatonin. His sleep and mood in the morning improved immediately. At around 5 months we started giving my son pharmeceutical grade fish oil supplements with his breakfast in the hope that it might increase Melatonin production and reduce any inflammation associated with Scoliosis.

Recheck
A week ago Scott visitied the doctor for his first recheck. It had been 7.5 months and his curve measured 11 degrees. The doctor called it stable.

What might this mean?
A) The doctor measured his curve incorrectly
B) The curve stopped progressing on it's own
C) Scott's curve stopped progressing because we increased his natural production of Melatonin. This is consistent with the findings of the Japanese study mentioned at the beginning of this thread.

leahdragonfly
05-24-2009, 02:53 PM
Dingo,

You know I am glad to hear your son's back is stable. Do I think it's because you took away his night light??--no, probably not.

I think you are making A LOT of conjectures and assumptions that totally lack basis.

Any ortho will tell you that a measurement of 12 degrees vs 11 degrees is the same measurement (our ortho told us 30 was the same as 26--we were originally told both numbers by different docs). With measurement error, one could argue that your son doesn't even have scoliosis yet (who's to say it's not actually 9 degrees?).

I just wonder what you did with all your free time before this issue surfaced in your family. You seem to have quite a lot of it.

Dingo
05-24-2009, 04:09 PM
Leahdragonfly


I think you are making A LOT of conjectures and assumptions that totally lack basis.

A group of Japanese researchers believe that low levels of Melatonin are associated with curve progression. Last week I talked with a spine surgeon who suspects the same thing.

I did what I could to maximize my son's natural production of Melatonin. This triggered an immediate improvement in how well he slept. Half a year later his curve appears to be stable. I'll never know if the two are connected but it is consistent with the Japanese finding. If you go back and read my post I listed two other possibilities.


I just wonder what you did with all your free time before this issue surfaced in your family. You seem to have quite a lot of it.

Thanks for the compliment, I use almost all of my free time for Scoliosis. I post what I find in the hope that it can help other parents.

emarismom
05-24-2009, 04:43 PM
Stable is always good, Stable at 11 or 12 degrees is EXCELLENT!! I'm very happy for your news whatever the reasons!

Dingo
05-24-2009, 04:44 PM
Sept 8, 2004 - Night light linked to rise in child leukemia (http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/news/0409/44.htm)

Feb 22, 2008 - Light at Night connected to health problems (http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/cancer/2008/02/22/light-at-night-how-to-counter-the-health-effects.html)

Feg 21, 2008 - Study: Night light raises cancer risk (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1203518556682&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull)

Oct 7, 2008 - Light Pollution and cancer (http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-1461-1671,31149.asp)

Feb 4, 2009 - Artificial Light At Night: Higher Risk Of Prostate Cancer, Study Suggests (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203135015.htm)

Could light at night really cause or contribute to many different health problems? Of course it could. For a couple hundred thousand years humans slept in total darkness. We probably evolved biological systems that depended on darkness at night. This was not a problem until the last 50 to 100 years.

Here is an easy to read article that explains what to do about it.

Why You Should Say NO to Nightlights (& Other Top Recommendations to Sleep Well) (http://www.bodyecology.com/07/01/11/nightlights_recommendations_sleep_well.php)

Is "blacking out" my son's room helping to slow down his Scoliosis? I'll never know for sure. But it's certainly an inexpensive and healthy thing for all children and adults.

Dingo
05-24-2009, 04:55 PM
emarismom

Thanks! Hey from the looks of your signature your daughters curve is going in the right direction. 28 to 18 degrees over a 4 year period is awesome!

We started my son on daily physical therapy about 2 weeks ago. It takes about 10 minutes and it's not all at once. That's about all he can do at age 5.

His therapy is partly based on this study (http://www.medxonline.com/downloads/articles/measuredresistanceinscoliosis.pdf) whose findings were later confirmed in 2 other studies.

I hope it works, but even if it does I'll never know for sure because 1 kid isn't a large enough sample. I'll report back in 6 months one way or the other. :)

Pooka1
05-24-2009, 05:40 PM
Dingo, do you just reject the findings that most published research results are false?

Why?

Dingo
05-24-2009, 06:18 PM
Pooka1

I'm not particularly interested in that line of thinking. I read a lot and I use my best judgement to determine what might work and what might not.

emarismom
05-25-2009, 06:00 AM
I did eliminate most of the light sources in her room when this thread was started. There is still a little that comes from outside, but if I put tin foil or something else up to block out everything, I think she will get too scared.

I consider her curve to be stable as even before we got the brace, she ranged from 18-24 degrees for two years post decompression. In brace x rays have ranged from 12-24 over the last two years.

I'm going to have an out of brace done in June. If she is under 20, then I may consider bracing only at night, or when she is home in the air conditioning. Summer camp here in Miami with a brace is tough.

These ideas are my own, not sure what the docs will tell me. Emily will be terrified to lose the brace. So we will see.

Dingo
05-25-2009, 10:06 PM
Emarismom


I did eliminate most of the light sources in her room when this thread was started. There is still a little that comes from outside, but if I put tin foil or something else up to block out everything, I think she will get too scared.

Before I knew that light at night was generally bad for health we used to have nightlights and LCDs everywhere. We also had street lights pouring in through our blinds. Looking back I have no idea how we fell asleep.

Today Scott has two sets of blackout curtains in his window, no nightlights and no nightlights upstairs. His room is a cave at night. I can only assume that we are reaching his natural potential for Melatonin production. We mounted a taplight next to his nightstand in case he needs to get out of bed at night.


Summer camp here in Miami with a brace is tough.

I live in Arizona so it's the same story here. Every summer temperatures go past 110 degrees. I think day bracing might be unsafe in the summer.

mamamax
06-13-2009, 10:31 AM
Originally Posted by concerned dad
As an important aside (and maybe the only worthwhile thing in this post), Gould wrote an inspirational paper after his initial diagnosis with cancer in the early 80’s., "The Median is not the Message (http://www.cancerguide.org/median_not_msg.html)," . I would recommend it to anyone who has received, or has a loved one who received, a diagnosis of a disease with a bad prognosis.

Dingo - thank you for opening this thread - your information, very valuable. I've blacked out my bedroom and added fish oil to daily supplements - something that incidentally was prescribed for me by our family doctor when i was in grade school. It can't hurt and certainly there is information enough from your postings, and reference, to give it a try. I'm so happy for you that you son is doing well.

CD - your comments here as always, stellar. Thank you for the above web link to Stephen Gould's story - 30 year survival post diagnosis that would have had him dead in 8 months. I think it should be required reading for anyone diagnosed with any disease (including scoliosis). Thank you also for sharing a bit more about your educational background .. makes perfect sense in light of the things you say and the manner in which you state them.

Bigbluefrog
10-27-2009, 10:47 PM
Dingo - thank you for opening this thread - your information, very valuable. I've blacked out my bedroom and added fish oil to daily supplements - something that incidentally was prescribed for me by our family doctor when i was in grade school. It can't hurt and certainly there is information enough from your postings, and reference, to give it a try. I'm so happy for you that you son is doing well.



I second that! Thanks Dingo for doing the research and sharing the links...its very probable.

My dd was diagnosed with diabetes last year and there is a theory about not enough vitamin D. So its just the right combination of sunlight and absorbing vitamin D.....and in this case just the right amount of darkness at night to get the ZZZ and increase melatonin production. If we only understood what all those hormones do and how important good nutrition is....you know it really can't hurt....we darkened my dd room and started her on omegas and vit D.

Dingo
10-27-2009, 11:14 PM
Bigbluefrog

Thanks for the kind words. The connection between Scoliosis and Melatonin is not firmly cemented. Some studies find a connection others don't. However this stood out from the recent Scoliosis blood test patent (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008119170&IA=CA2008000595&DISPLAY=DESC).


The C57BI6/6J mouse strain was used because it is naturally deficient in melatonin, exhibits high circulating OPN levels and develops scoliosis when they are maintained in a bipedal state. It is a well known scoliosis animal model.

Melatonin deficiency is one part of the equation that produces mice that get Scoliosis. That's evidence that on some level it probably matters for humans too.

But aside from Scoliosis Melatonin is a natural anti-inflammatory (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ei=rcLnSr_CM4ScMN7AobEI&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&ved=0CAkQBSgA&q=melatonin+anti+inflammatory&spell=1) which is probably part of the reason why kids need it for good health.

Dingo
10-27-2009, 11:34 PM
Bigbluefrog


My dd was diagnosed with diabetes last year and there is a theory about not enough vitamin D.

Although it's not been absolutely proven Type I Diabetes is believed to be caused by exposure to Enterovirus (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305141639.htm) in genetically susceptible people. Enterovirus is transmitted by the fecal/oral route and can survive in chlorinated pool water.

Occurrence of enteroviruses in community swimming pools. (http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/71/9/1026)

Side Note:
Olympic swimmer Gary Hall came down with Type 1 Diabetes in his mid 20s (http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2004/09/01/3988/gary-hall-jr-/).

Bigbluefrog
11-06-2009, 03:53 PM
Bigbluefrog

Although it's not been absolutely proven Type I Diabetes is believed to be caused by exposure to Enterovirus (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305141639.htm) in genetically susceptible people. Enterovirus is transmitted by the fecal/oral route and can survive in chlorinated pool water.

Occurrence of enteroviruses in community swimming pools. (http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/71/9/1026)

Side Note:
Olympic swimmer Gary Hall came down with Type 1 Diabetes in his mid 20s (http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2004/09/01/3988/gary-hall-jr-/).

diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease and it is believed that it is triggered by a virus. although I would have to say My dd is extremely healthy and rarely was sick as a child. There are many theories regarding this illness as well. I honestly can not recall a specific illness that triggered it. Most do though..remember the flu or virus before type one onset.

I was informed that we do not get enough vitamin D. And the omega-3 are important too. So why some children get Diabetes and others don't ...especially in the same family exposed to the same environment, diet, germs, ect...its rare for sibling to get it but not impossible. I would say that a greater number of children in adolescent age...are diagnosed. The stress of growth? Or is it more of a function of hormones? Thyroid disease is also very common in Diabetic children ( and celiac disease).

I don't have the answers...... please do continue to share your findings...I find them very interesting. Ead the back of the melatonin supplement ...it is not recommended for children or diabetics....do you know why? I agree that by darking the room and encouraging natural melatonin production is better.

Curious about how your son is doing? Is his curve still stable....last time in May 09, you stated it was. that is encouraging news..and hopefully remains that way.

watching the schroth videos .. one thing that is always encouraged is exercising outside in the fresh air and sunlight. Resetting the bodies natural mechanism, the light signals necessary to set circadian rhythms of the pineal gland.

Dingo
11-06-2009, 10:30 PM
Bigbluefrog


Curious about how your son is doing? Is his curve still stable....last time in May 09, you stated it was. that is encouraging news..and hopefully remains that way.

Scott has his next 6 month checkup this month. I don't have a date yet but I'm already getting nervous. He was diagnosed with a 12 degree curve 1 year ago. At his first 6 month recheck it held stable at 11 degrees.

I'll find out soon how well he is doing and I'll post it here.

Bigbluefrog
11-07-2009, 05:33 PM
Think positive....visualizing good results!

I met a 42 yr old female with scoliosis today, she stated physical therapy and exercising kept her scoliosis from progressing...those were her exact words.

She doesn't remember the degree...but she said she was very close to getting a brace.

andyglasser
04-27-2010, 01:48 PM
My daughter's both have Scoliosis. Because I have hypothyroidism I have become interested in the effect of Fluoride has on the thyroid, and have discovered in my research a host more detrimental health affects of long term fluoride exposure on many systems, including on bone, despite the fact that it's known to help prevent cavities. Since I have always been "blessed" to have daughters who prefer water to any other kind of drink, fluoridated water, I started wondering whether there could be a link. Interestingly, I found no research suggesting a link between fluoride and scoliosis directly, but I did find evidence of fluoride's detrimental effect on the pineal gland, responsible for the production of melatonin. And then found my way here. I'm writing this to put this on people's radars. I would love to see a developing interest in any possible connection between what I think is a misguided policy of medicating the population with Fluoride, whether they want it or not, and the scoliosis in our growing children. I also thought it interesting that scoliosis is more common in girls, since Hypothyroidism is also more common in women. Maybe this suggests a common cause, I don't know. In any case, I'm buying a water filter that can remove our fluoride. Non-fluoridated areas don't even have a greater incidence of cavities, so it can't hurt.

http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/pineal/

Pooka1
04-27-2010, 01:57 PM
You started with your hypothyroidism and then jumped to the pineal gland and then back to hypothyroidism.

Are you suggesting F is potentially detrimental to BOTH the thyroid and the pineal gland?

andyglasser
04-27-2010, 02:04 PM
Does anyone know how much supplemental melatonin was given to the children in that japanese study?

andyglasser
04-27-2010, 02:08 PM
You started with your hypothyroidism and then jumped to the pineal gland and then back to hypothyroidism.

Are you suggesting F is potentially detrimental to BOTH the thyroid and the pineal gland?

Yes - that is what is suggested in the link I posted too. And those aren't the only two systems detrimentally affected by Fluoride. I'm sorry if I confused with the talk of Hypothyroidism. I was just trying to explain how I "happened" upon my research into Fluoride in the first place.

Pooka1
04-27-2010, 02:20 PM
Yes - that is what is suggested in the link I posted too. And those aren't the only two systems detrimentally affected by Fluoride. I'm sorry if I confused with the talk of Hypothyroidism. I was just trying to explain how I "happened" upon my research into Fluoride in the first place.

Okay so you are not suggesting a causal connection between thyroid issues and scoliosis, just between the pineal gland and scoliosis, yes?

andyglasser
04-27-2010, 02:26 PM
Okay so you are not suggesting a causal connection between thyroid issues and scoliosis, just between the pineal gland and scoliosis, yes?

I am not suggesting that thyroid problems cause scoliosis, no. Only that Fluoride could affect both the thyroid and the pineal gland.

Pooka1
04-27-2010, 02:34 PM
Are there any other cases of scoliosis in your family or extended family to explain your two daughters?

Both my daughters have scoliosis and although there are a few known cases on both sides of their extended family (including a fusion), there is some chance their scoliosis is related instead to a spontaneous mutation causing a connective tissue disorder. For example, 25% of Marfans cases are new mutations though Marfans itself is relatively rare.

Dingo
04-27-2010, 06:51 PM
andyglasser

Low Melatonin may (or may not) play a role in the development of Scoliosis. For my kid I blacked out his room which is a cheap and easy way to ensure that he makes plenty of Melatonin at night. I hope it helps, at the very least it won't hurt.

However the key to Scoliosis probably lies in a dysfunction in the central nervous system. It isn't that the body doesn't make enough Melatonin, it's that Melatonin isn't being processed correctly.

You might find this study interesting.

Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf)


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.

joyfull
04-27-2010, 09:31 PM
Karen, I'm interested in your comment about your mother, age 92, with scoliosis who is "quite twisted." It's really impressive that she attained that age; I wish her many more happy and healthy years! Has she had any other major consequences of the scoliosis? I'm curious since I'm having the surgery purely for preventive reasons, as I've posted before, and thank G-d, I have no pain. It's really tough to walk into this with no pain. All the best, Joy

Karen Ocker
04-28-2010, 08:54 AM
Joyfull,
My mom died in January-leukemia. Her back was only slightly curved throughout her life and it didn't show until she was over 80--so do not take that to believe that severe scoliosis does not impact life expectancy--but keeps progressing until death.

I just got diagnosed with very early breast cancer. Among other risk factors: many x-rays in my teens-to monitor scoliosis- when breasts were developing and 8 years of hormone replacement therapy. I was against it(hrt) but, because of scoliosis, my GYN thought it was best for my spine. The prognosis is good but just another thing when I just lost my mom. Scoliosis impacts so many other problems.

My opinion; I think it's nuts not to address progressing scoliosis and hope it will stop on it's own or with "conservative measures". Think of all those x-rays to monitor supposed "holding" of a curve.

CHRIS WBS
04-28-2010, 11:53 AM
I just got diagnosed with very early breast cancer.

So sorry to read this, Karen. Wishing you a full recovery. Early detection is certainly to your advantage.

Dingo
04-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Karen Ocker

I'm sorry to hear you have breast cancer. Osteopontin overexpression has been associated with many types of cancer including breast cancer.

Wiki: Osteopontin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteopontin)


It has been shown that OPN drives IL-17 production;[28] OPN is overexpressed in a variety of cancers, including lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma and mesothelioma; OPN contributes both glomerulonephritis and tubulointerstitial nephritis; and OPN is found in atheromatous plaques within arteries. Thus, manipulation of plasma OPN levels may be useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, cancer metastasis, osteoporosis and some forms of stress.[2]

Interestingly enough according to Dr. Moreau's patent Osteopontin is elevated in children with AIS. I'm not sure if OPN stays elevated after skeletal maturity but I think I remember that it does stay high. The connections between various inflammatory conditions and OPN are discussed at length in Dr. Moreua's Scoliosis patent. It also includes at least one breast cancer/OPN study link.

(WO/2008/119170) METHOD OF DETERMINING RISK OF SCOLIOSIS (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008119170&IA=CA2008000595&DISPLAY=DESC)

I should add that according to his patent scientists are testing a specific type of Selenium (Se-methylselenocystein) on women with breast cancer.


[00166] Selenium concentration was reported to be significantly decreased in plasma of AIS patients (42). Selenium and more specifically Se-methylselenocystein, an organoselenium naturally occurring in diet, are used to prevent metastasis in breast cancer as chemopreventive therapy by targeting OPN transcription (43-45).

Karen Ocker
04-28-2010, 07:26 PM
This is not the place for you, who is absolutely not qualified to do so, to figure out causes of such a complex disease as breast cancer and then post your "findings" picked out of some "research" to a newly-diagnosed person. How is this supposed to help????

Please leave your research to a scientist.

Your posting was out of place and made me angry.:mad:

Pooka1
04-28-2010, 07:31 PM
My mom died in January-leukemia.

I just got diagnosed with very early breast cancer.

Oh Karen, I'm so sorry. Stay strong.

rohrer01
04-29-2010, 08:27 PM
Karen, I am so sorry to hear your news. You have been through enough already. I hope they caught it early enough. You are right, breast cancer is a very complicated disease, not without single cause. I hope I can reassure you that they are working hard to find so many treatments to help. Being in the medical profession yourself, I'm sure you already know this. I have seen nothing but compassion from you, especially in your private messages. I sincerely hope you find success and peace in whatever treatment you choose on your new journey. I must add that I am sorry about your mom, too. I don't care how old we get, losing a loved one does not hurt less. My dad is dying, and I can't seem to prepare myself for it. My greatest sympathies!

foofer
04-29-2010, 09:13 PM
Dear Karen,

I'm so sorry about your recent diagnosis! It seems there is so much cancer out there, and for you to go through all your scoli troubles, and then your mom, and now this- I am sorry you have such a load...

...but glad they caught it early! Please keep us posted and I wish you the very best for healthy days ahead.