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Dingo
04-13-2009, 11:02 AM
I know this isn't an Autism board but sometimes it's useful to see the latest thinking and research on other childhood disorders. It's hard to get a good feel for what might be going on when you only read about Scoliosis which doesn't get a lot of funding.

For a long time Autism was thought to be a genetic disorder. Genes have been discovered that appear to correlate with Autism (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=autism+gene&aq=f&oq=) and if one identical twin has the disease the other will have it roughly 50% of the time. That's 4 times higher than Scoliosis (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8480) which has a concordance rate of just 13% among identical twins. Until recently most Autism research dollars went towards genetics but today that's rapidly changing (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2007/08/13/under_suspicion/?page=full).


Until recently, about 90 percent of autism research has focused on genetics, and only perhaps 10 percent on environmental factors, said Dr. Gary Goldstein, chairman of the scientific board of Autism Speaks, a national research and advocacy group. In the coming years, he expects the ratio to be 1 to 1.

Why is the focus of Autism research shifting? Evidence is mounting that Autism is triggered by an environmental insult in genetically susceptible children. This damage could be triggered by a common childhood infection or even an environmental toxin.

Right now a lot of Scoliosis research dollars go towards genetics. I believe that very soon Scoliosis researchers will shift their focus towards the environment just as Autism researchers are doing now.

Autism news and research

July 16, 2007 - Schizophrenia and Autism linked to flu virus (http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1979483.htm)


Of course not every woman who gets a cold during pregnancy will have a schizophrenic offspring, that's because of… presumably because of the genotype, you have to have a certain set of genes to be susceptible to these environmental insults.

Feb 12, 2008 - Some Cases Of Autism May Be Traced To The Immune System Of Mothers During Pregnancy (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080211172535.htm)


New research from the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and Center for Children's Environmental Health has found that antibodies in the blood of mothers of children with autism bind to fetal brain cells, potentially interrupting healthy brain development.

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


These findings reinforce the theory that immune activation in the brain is involved in autism

Jan 11, 2009 - California's Autism Increase Not Due To Better Counting, Diagnosis (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108095429.htm)


results from the study also suggest that research should shift from genetics to the host of chemicals and infectious microbes in the environment that are likely at the root of changes in the neurodevelopment of California's children.


"It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California," said UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute researcher Irva Hertz-Picciotto, a professor of environmental and occupational health and epidemiology and an internationally respected autism researcher.

Aug 13, 2007 - Researchers now believe that autism can be caused by genes in combination with environmental triggers. (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2007/08/13/under_suspicion/?page=full)


As the ranks of children diagnosed with autism grow, researchers are focusing more on such efforts. They are casting an ever-widening net to try to detect possible environmental factors -- such as chemicals or infections -- that could be interacting with genetic risk factors.

Pooka1
04-13-2009, 03:14 PM
Well Dingo, I just want to commend you for not mentioning ethylmercury in vaccines at all in that post on autism. That has been put to bed, coffin nailed, etc. etc.

Why Robert F. Kennedy, JR. can't admit he was wrong is beyond me. I thought he was a stand up guy.

Dingo
04-13-2009, 03:46 PM
Pooka1

Is there a relationship between vaccines and Autism (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/vaccines.htm)


The weight of the evidence indicates that vaccines are not associated with autism.

Ironically not only do vaccines not cause Autism but they will ultimately prevent it.

Flu virus is associated with Autism and Cytomegalovirus (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cytomegalovirus+autism&aq=f&oq=) is a known cause of it.

Most people aren't aware of the fact that microbes are the undisputed heavyweight champion when it comes to taking down humans.

Dingo
04-13-2009, 04:02 PM
October 2005 - Discover Magazine: Common infections linked to a variety of mental illnesses (http://discovermagazine.com/2005/oct/behavior)

Scientists are catching on and the best part is they can do something about it.


Lipkin is also working with the Norwegian government on an extensive, groundbreaking study of how maternal infections may influence vulnerability to autism. “It’s the only study of its type in the world,” he says. “Norway has recruited 100,000 pregnant women at their first ultrasound, and they are going to be followed for 72 months. We will do blood draws and a genetic analysis of both the mother and father, as well as cord blood from the children. There will be screening questionnaires and interviews at 6, 18, 36, and 72 months. We’ll be able to look back in time and see, for instance, that this particular mom generated antibodies to this particular virus at the 17th week, and now her kid is autistic.”


We’re finally getting the funding to ask the right questions

Somebody needs to do a similar study and include Scoliosis. Who knows, maybe the Norwegian study has Scoliosis on it's checklist.

Pooka1
04-13-2009, 05:27 PM
Most people aren't aware of the fact that microbes are the undisputed heavyweight champion when it comes to taking down humans.

You could say microbes, not humans, have dominion over the planet.

It's a wonder how this, and even the very existence of microbes, could have possibly escaped Bronze Age nomads and Iron Age agrarians in the Middle East, them being so "geniusy" and all. :eek::confused::eek::confused:

;):cool:

Dingo
04-13-2009, 05:35 PM
It's a wonder how this, and even the very existence of microbes, could have possibly escaped Bronze Age nomads and Iron Age agrarians in the Middle East, them being so "geniusy" and all.

In the ancient world I think they used to believe that evil spirits made people sick. :rolleyes:

Pooka1
04-13-2009, 05:49 PM
It's a wonder how this, and even the very existence of microbes, could have possibly escaped Bronze Age nomads and Iron Age agrarians in the Middle East, them being so "geniusy" and all.

In the ancient world I think they used to believe that evil spirits made people sick. :rolleyes:

(I am removing material that is too factual for some which I believe has just been reported to the moderator based on reviewing the who is on line screen.)

But seriously, this microbial trigger business is very interesting and I suspect will pan out in a huge way like you suggest.

Dingo
04-13-2009, 06:42 PM
But seriously, this microbial trigger business is very interesting and I suspect will pan out in a huge way like you suggest.

I hope so because it means there is something we can do about Scoliosis and other childhood disorders, vaccination. I read a lot about this stuff and in the last 5 years the field has exploded. Diseases that scientists used to think were caused by heredity or lifestyle are now blamed on common infections.

Pathogen That Causes Disease In Cattle Also Associated With Crohn's Disease - Research Urgently Needed To Evaluate Potential Risks To Humans (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/117665.php)


People with Crohn's disease (CD) are seven-fold more likely to have in their gut tissues the bacterium that causes a digestive-tract disease in cattle called Johne's disease. The role this bacterium may or may not play in causing CD is a top research priority,

I don't know if this particular bacteria will pan out but this is the direction that science is headed.

Rats' virus holds clues to diabetes (http://articles.latimes.com/2007/apr/28/science/sci-virus28)


The BioBreeding, or BB, rat naturally develops diabetes at about 2 months of age, and researchers have attributed the disease to genetics. The new findings suggest that there is indeed a genetic susceptibility but that the precipitating event is a viral infection.

It's only a matter of time until the SRS jumps onboard. They need to piggyback on an infectious disease study like the Norwegians are doing.

Is there any public input on how they spend research dollars?

Karen Ocker
04-13-2009, 07:00 PM
Various links on this site have educational meterials about the many types of scoliosis, their causes, prognosis and treatment options written for the professional.


http://www.srs.org/professionals/education/

Dingo
04-13-2009, 07:17 PM
Karen Ocker

Thanks Karen. I'm going to write the SRS and ask if they accept public input on how grant money is invested.

concerned dad
04-13-2009, 07:58 PM
Is there no end to this?
Whats next?
Are you going to try to say that a virus causes cancer?
yeah right. Show that and you just might win a Nobel Prize.

Wait a second :eek: (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2008/press.html)

Dingo
04-13-2009, 09:58 PM
concerned dad

Are you going to try to say that a virus causes cancer?

I was thinking more along the lines of depression but... :)

There is growing interest in a suspected cause of some cases of depression: infection and inflammatory response. (http://www.psychweekly.com/aspx/article/ArticleDetail.aspx?articleid=473)


There are several unambiguous examples of psychiatric illness being the result of an inflammatory or immune reaction. Considerable evidence already exists about the Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS), a disorder in which Streptoccal infection triggers an autoimmune response. The antibodies that form against the invading bacteria mistakenly recognize and “attack” certain parts of the brain, causing psychiatric symptoms.

Dingo
04-13-2009, 10:36 PM
I read a lot about a variety of illnesses and one thing pops up over and over again, inflammation. Practically every disease leads to inflammation and chronic inflammation is almost always bad.

Increasing levels of Calmodulin are closely related to curve progression (http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article378.html).

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

CaM mediates processes such as inflammation, metabolism, apoptosis, muscle contraction, intracellular movement, short-term and long-term memory, nerve growth and the immune response.

I won't be surprised if they find out that inflammation has something to do with curve progression. A few weeks ago we started giving my son a first rate fish oil supplement with his breakfast. I have no idea if it will help with curve progression but I know that it lowers inflammation (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=fish+oil+inflammation&aq=f&oq=). Unfortunately I can't wait 10 years for a clinical study to be released that proves or disproves a connection. Whether it helps or not at least it will make him smarter, happier and healthier.

Eating Fish Heightens Boys' IQ: Study (http://www.bnet.com/2407-13071_23-277514.html)


Your mother was right: Eating fish makes you smarter, according to a Swedish study released showing that eating enough of the aquatic vertebrates clearly heightens teenage boys' IQ levels.

University of Maryland Medical Center: Fish Oil (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm)


Clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in treating a variety of health conditions. The evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, but the range of possible uses for omega-3 fatty acids include: High cholesterol, High blood pressure, Heart disease, Diabetes, Weight loss, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Depression, Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, ADHD, Eating disorders, Burns, Skin disorders, Inflammatory bowel disease, Asthma, Macular Degeneration, Menstrual pain, Colon cancer, Breast cancer, & Prostate cancer

It's not surprising that fish oil might help some people with depression since they've found a connection between inflammation and depression.

You might also remember that austic children may have inflammation in their brains (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/11/16/1244691.htm).

Once again it's not surprising that fish oil can help improve the symptoms of many Autistic children (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-373833/How-fish-oil-unlocked-autistic-son.html).

Lots of research on this topic (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16920077?dopt=AbstractPlus).

Oxygen Therapy is also used to reduce inflammation in Autistic children (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7940149.stm).


One theory is that oxygen can help reduce inflammation and improve flow of oxygen to brain tissue.


The next step is to try to find out which kids do respond, because it's an expensive treatment - it may be that kids with more inflammation respond better.


He added that oxygen was the "controller of inflammation" but also had other effects on regulation of genes and tissue regeneration.

In case you were wondering no I don't have an Austistic child. I read about pretty much every type of illness.

PNUTTRO
04-14-2009, 08:54 AM
Is there any public input on how they spend research dollars?

Regarding funded microbial research. (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/hmp/)

I still don't know what this has to do with scoliosis.
Maybe you could email somebody on the microbiome project.

Dingo
04-14-2009, 10:20 AM
PNUTTRO

Thanks for the link! I've heard about that project but that's way higher up than I'm thinking.

I strongly suspect that Scoliosis is triggered by a common, childhood infection. My hope is that somebody at the SRS will find a way to piggyback a Scoliosis question onto somebody elses study of infectious disease.

The Norwegians are following 100,000 women and their children to measure the effects of common infections and how they relate to Autism. Hopefully there are many studies like that popping up and the SRS can get a Scoliosis question into one of them.

Dingo
04-14-2009, 10:22 AM
Endocardial Fibroelastosis (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/896375-overview) is a heart disorder in infants. It used to afflict 1 in 5000 children in the USA and was often fatal. It hit some families harder than others which suggested a genetic susceptability. Doctors also noticed a correlation with mumps but they weren't sure why. When mumps vaccinations became widespread the disorder completely disappeared.

I think this is the general direction that Scoliosis researchers need to look.

The 13% MZ concordance rate from the Danish study (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8480) suggests that Scoliosis is strongly environmental. Whatever the environmental trigger is it has to have been around for thousands of years.

concerned dad
04-14-2009, 10:34 AM
Boys who at the age of 15 ate fish at least once a week on average scored seven percent better on the general IQ test three years later, while those who ate fish more than once a week scored 12 percent higher, the study showed.

How do they know if it is the fish? Maybe smart kids just eat more healthy BECAUSE they are smart and not the other way around? (written as I munch away at a MilkyWay bar).

Without a random controlled trial, it has to be difficult to make an attribution like that.

PNUTTRO
04-14-2009, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the link! I've heard about that project but that's way higher up than I'm thinking.

I say go bigger.

You still haven't convinced me but maybe the micro people will.

Dingo
04-14-2009, 05:48 PM
concerned dad

You are right, the results of one study could mean pretty much anything depending on how it was set up. But fish oil has been found to increase intelligence in numerous studies (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=fish+oil+intelligence&aq=f&oq=).

Fish and fish oil is one of the few things that scores points in studies over and over again. I think this is probably because humans evolved close to rivers, lakes and the ocean. We must have grown dependent on fish as a source of food and nutrients.

Dingo
04-14-2009, 05:57 PM
PNUTTRO

You still haven't convinced me but maybe the micro people will.

Only research will tell if there is a connection or not. I would guess (perhaps incorrectly) that right now there is nobody looking for an infectious cause of Scoliosis.

In a way that's perplexing because scientists already know that an infection can curve a spine (Polio). At least some research should be focused in a direction where we've already struck gold.

Dingo
04-15-2009, 12:35 PM
Google Search: polio epidemic inflammation (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=polio+epidemic+inflammation)

I have been doing some reading on Polio. I never knew that a significant cause of Polio symptoms was the damage caused by out of control inflammation in the spinal cord. Scoliosis was a common side effect of Polio.

I don't know if that is relevant to Scoliosis but it bears repeating that Calmodulin (http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/article378.html) is closely related to both inflammation and curve progression.

Fish oil is a known anti-inflammatory (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=fish+oil+inflammation). Let me be perfectly clear that I have no idea if fish oil might reduce curve progression in some kids. But at least there is a thread of logic to the idea.

concerned dad
04-15-2009, 03:55 PM
I have to hand it to you Dingo, you bring a new perspective to things. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes, unbiased from existing dogma (OK, maybe dogma isn’t the best word for it but you know what I mean), can see things others have missed. Not saying that’s the case here, but you never know. In the search for answers there is little as motivating as a parents love for their child. I think you’ll agree that the same motivation can also bring you down some wrong paths (I think that’s what happened to me anyway).

You’ve certainly given me some things to scratch my head about.

Dingo
04-15-2009, 11:53 PM
concerned dad

You are too kind. When my son was diagnosed I was devastated. I've been thinking about this 24/7 for about 8 months now. I hope I'm on the right track but if I'm not I hope I'm not doing harm.

It makes sense that inflammation and Scoliosis might work together. Generally speaking inflammation and illness go hand in hand.

Dingo
04-16-2009, 12:00 AM
concerned dad'

Scientists need to test anti-inflammatory injections on Scoliosis.

Some children have 50 or 60 degree curves and they get worse every month. These kids are headed for fusion. Maybe scientists could inject their backs with an anti-inflammatory and see if it stops or slows curve progression. If a child is getting fused anyway it's worth a shot.

If it helps and it's safe they could try it on a wider range of kids. Maybe in the future children with large curves will get anti-inflammatory injections every 6 months instead of a brace.

2 recent animals studies found that Tamoxifen (a Calmodulin antagonist) helped Scoliosis considerably. That might come back to inflammation.

February 26, 2009 - The effect of calmodulin antagonists on scoliosis: bipedal C57BL/6 mice model (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19242737)


"This study has demonstrated that TMX is effective in changing the natural history of scoliotic deformities in C57BL6 mice model favorably."

March 15, 2009 - The Effect of Calmodulin Antagonists on Experimental Scoliosis: A Pinealectomized Chicken Model (http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2009/03150/The_Effect_of_Calmodulin_Antagonists_on.2.aspx)


"Conclusion. The incidence and magnitude of scoliosis in pinealectomized chicken may be decreased by the administration of TMX, presumably because of this drugs' calmodulin antagonism. Further studies on higher animals and dosage and timing are required."

Dingo
04-16-2009, 11:25 AM
Curve pattern changes in idiopathic scoliosis (http://www.scoliosisjournal.com/content/4/S1/O13)


In this study, changes in curve patterns suggest that idiopathic scoliosis is not a fixed deformity, but a dynamic process especially in patients younger than 10 years.

The fact that Scoliosis is not necessarily a fixed deformity suggests that it may have an inflammation component. Once bone growth has been placed upon an inflamed and misaligned foundation the deformity may become more permanent.

concerned dad
04-16-2009, 11:52 AM
Dingo,
I suspect you'll be interested in reading this 1999 paper in SPine

Nutritional deficiency was proposed as a cause in the beginning of this century, and most spinal curves were thought to be secondary to rickets.
Brunk,9 however, showed that the curves identified as rickets presumably caused by vitamin D deficiency never became severe and actually were reversible by treatment.9

Cause of Ideopathic Scoliosis (http://www.scoliosissystems.com/SpineCor/Causes%20of%20Idiopathic%20Scoliosis.pdf)

Just got me thinking about Vitamin D, Fish oil, your discussion about the sun (relates to Vitamin D and Melatonin, right?). Interesting.

Dingo
04-16-2009, 12:24 PM
Good link!

Just got me thinking about Vitamin D, Fish oil, your discussion about the sun (relates to Vitamin D and Melatonin, right?). Interesting

Yep, it's all related. What Brunk found makes sense. Kids with a nutritional deficiency can cure their Scoliosis over time if they fix the deficiency. But most kids don't have a deficiency. Something is busted in the central nervous system and the byproduct is Calmodulin which might mean inflammation. This inflammation creates irregularity in the spine and bone growth is built on this unstable foundation. Just about every chronic illness is related to inflammation so this isn't a revolutionary hypothesis.

Until scientists know how to fix the main problem at least we can control the inflammation and potentially fix or reduce a curve or it's progression. Maybe. Unless scientists find out otherwise fish oil and/or sleeping in a dark room shouldn't hurt and it might help. In any case they are both beneficial to a child's general health.

Pooka1
04-16-2009, 03:12 PM
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-08/uoc--cpm080206.php

Little is known about the causes of cultural change, but behavioral manipulation by a common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, may be among the factors that play a role, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published in the August 2, 2006, issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology.

"In populations where this parasite is very common, mass personality modification could result in cultural change," said study author Kevin Lafferty, a USGS scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who has conducted extensive studies of parasites in coastal ecosystems. "The geographic variation in the latent prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii may explain a substantial proportion of human population differences we see in cultural aspects that relate to ego, money, material possessions, work, and rules."

Man, I can suggest a few aspects of society that are likely going to be explained by brain parasites. :eek: :D

Dingo
04-16-2009, 06:31 PM
Pooka1

Man, I can suggest a few aspects of society that are likely going to be explained by brain parasites.

You know there are a lot of crazy people floating around the world. This might explain a lot of previously unexplainable behavior. :eek:

Pooka1
04-16-2009, 06:51 PM
Pooka1

Man, I can suggest a few aspects of society that are likely going to be explained by brain parasites.

You know there are a lot of crazy people floating around the world. This might explain a lot of previously unexplainable behavior. :eek:

This, along with some of what brain science has already revealed, is going to be explaining things that a majority of people in the US don't want explained by anything except faith.

Bank on it.

concerned dad
04-28-2009, 07:00 PM
regarding autism,
New research published in the online medical journal Nature today offers the best evidence yet that a major part of the answer is genetics (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/Story?id=7451376&page=1)

And then it switches back to genetics

Dingo
04-28-2009, 08:00 PM
By comparing the DNA of those with and without autism, researchers were able to identify several genes related to autism.

It's almost the same story every time. Scientists find a few correlations but most of the time they don't know why a gene might relate to a specific illness. Eventually most or all of these genes turn out to be false leads. The negative followup never gets a press release. Research money is rapidly drying up for this sort of thing.

Here is a recent story on Schizophrenia.

NY Times, July 2008 - Gene-Hunters Find Hope and Hurdles in Schizophrenia Studies (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/health/research/31gene.html)


The search for common variants in schizophrenia, however, has not been very successful so far, though not for want of trying. There have been more than a thousand studies, implicating 3,608 genetic variants.

But when all the data are pooled, only 24 of those variants turn out to be statistically significant, according to an analysis in the current issue of Nature Genetics by a group led by Dr. Lars Bertram of Massachusetts General Hospital.


...even these genome-wide association studies have had little success in finding common variants. Five such studies of schizophrenia have now been completed, and one of the largest found no common variants, Dr. Bertram said.

3608 genes were discovered and you can bet nearly all of these got a lot of fanfare. Over time only 24 survived. New studies suggest that perhaps none survived. There might have been 3608 "we found the Schizophrenia gene!" press releases but I guarantee there weren't 3608 "Oops!" retractions.

This article mentions that geneticists now believe Schizophrenia which hits 1% of the population might be triggered by thousands of rare deletions. I'm going to be polite and call that unlikely.

Dingo
04-28-2009, 08:51 PM
concerned dad

Boston Globe - Aug 2007 - Under suspicion (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2007/08/13/under_suspicion/?page=full)
Researchers now believe that autism can be caused by genes in combination with environmental triggers. The question is, what are those triggers?


Dr. Martha Herbert, a Harvard neuroscientist and Massachusetts General Hospital neurologist, said a few years ago, autism researchers would be marginalized if they talked about environmental factors. But now, "any major article or proposal concerning the causes of autism is coming to be considered incomplete if it doesn't talk about a potential role of environmental factors."

I read the ABC news article again and I don't see any mention of environment. Genetic correlations might be interesting but they don't garner the same level of respect that they did 5 or 10 years ago.

Jan 2009 - California's Autism Increase Not Due To Better Counting, Diagnosis (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090108095429.htm)


Published in the January 2009 issue of the journal Epidemiology, results from the study also suggest that research should shift from genetics to the host of chemicals and infectious microbes in the environment that are likely at the root of changes in the neurodevelopment of California's children.


"Right now, about 10 to 20 times more research dollars are spent on studies of the genetic causes of autism than on environmental ones. We need to even out the funding," Hertz-Picciotto said.

That explains why the study you posted was done at all. For many years nearly 100% of Autism research dollars and with it all of the political power has gone towards genetics research. The results have been yawn inducing. Fortunately for unborn generations to come that's changing fast.

PNUTTRO
04-29-2009, 04:47 PM
regarding autism,
New research published in the online medical journal Nature today offers the best evidence yet that a major part of the answer is genetics (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AutismNews/Story?id=7451376&page=1)

And then it switches back to genetics

Sorry. Dingo doesn't believe anything published in a real journal.

but he does believe that HCMV causes autism and gliomas.

Dingo
04-29-2009, 07:03 PM
PNUTTRO

The brain cancer link isn't proven but it's interesting.

The Autism link is pretty well established.

google search: cytomegalovirus autism (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cytomegalovirus+autism+&btnG=Search)

From one of the links (http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/view_press_release.php?rID=30360)


Up to 1% of children acquire CMV from their mothers during pregnancy with clinical illness developing in approximately 1 in 1,000 live births. Virus damage is most notable as impaired hearing, vision and/or intellectual performance. Congenital CMV is a known cause of autism.

Pooka1
04-29-2009, 07:38 PM
Dingo,

It seems to me you have a good grasp that many/most published results results are false. Yet you cite some as if you just forgot that little tidbit.

How do you decide which ones are likely true and which ones are likely false?

Dingo
04-29-2009, 08:41 PM
Pooka1

Pnuttro's Backhand

What is that supposed to mean?

Pooka1
04-29-2009, 08:45 PM
Pooka1

Pnuttro's Backhand

What is that supposed to mean?

It's a reference to a post in another thread having nothing to do with Pnuttro.

Dingo
04-30-2009, 01:01 PM
I believe this is more information on the Autism gene that concerned dad mentioned.

Gene variant found in 65% of autism cases (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17041-gene-variant-found-in-65-of-autism-cases.html)

The article does a great job of explaining the discovery and as a nonscientist it sounds like a big leap forward for Autism research. But keep the following 2 sentences in mind.


The variant is carried by around 60 per cent of people without autism. "There are probably numerous factors that cause autism, and these have to interact with environmental factors in order to express the [autistic] phenotype," Hakonarson says.

You could have predicted that sentence with just a simple working knowledge of both natural selection and Autism.

Autism hits 1 in 150 children which makes it far too common to be a genetic disorder. This gene creates a susceptability to something in the environment. Perhaps it creates a susceptability to the disease process after the damage is done. Regardless of how it works you can safely assume that in most cases Autism doesn't occur without environmentally caused damage. Hopefully this genetic discovery will help scientists find that trigger or produce drugs to reverse Autism even after it's started.

PNUTTRO
04-30-2009, 01:12 PM
PNUTTRO

The brain cancer link isn't proven but it's interesting.

The Autism link is pretty well established.

google search: cytomegalovirus autism (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cytomegalovirus+autism+&btnG=Search)

From one of the links (http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/view_press_release.php?rID=30360)

Your press release is from the Institute of Progressive Medicine

Mission Statement
To support physical, mental and spiritual betterment using the most natural, safest and most effective methods available. To employ drug or surgical therapies when judgment requires, with regard for individual circumstances and desires. To always respect each person’s integrity and right to self-determinism.

I don't know what that means, but I am not ready to go there for treatment of any kind.

The statement, that CMV causes autism is only their opinion. There is no reference in the article to support that claim and I am not going to look it up right now. You will have to defend it. All the evidence in your Google search looks to be anecdotal.

Dingo
04-30-2009, 01:41 PM
PNUTTRO

The statement, that CMV causes autism is only their opinion. There is no reference in the article to support that claim and I am not going to look it up right now. You will have to defend it. All the evidence in your Google search looks to be anecdotal.

Google yourself. Cytomegalovirus is associated with a wide range of brain birth defects and neurological problems including Autism.

Fortunately scientists are working on many different vaccines to stop it. Here is a link to one (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/41874/title/Vaccine_could_protect_against_virus_that_causes_bi rth_defects). In theory I guess all of this work could be based on conjecture. Maybe you should notify these vaccine researchers about your doubts.

PNUTTRO
04-30-2009, 03:14 PM
PNUTTRO

The statement, that CMV causes autism is only their opinion. There is no reference in the article to support that claim and I am not going to look it up right now. You will have to defend it. All the evidence in your Google search looks to be anecdotal.

Google yourself. Cytomegalovirus is associated with a wide range of brain birth defects and neurological problems including Autism.

Fortunately scientists are working on many different vaccines to stop it. Here is a link to one (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/41874/title/Vaccine_could_protect_against_virus_that_causes_bi rth_defects). In theory I guess all of this work could be based on conjecture. Maybe you should notify these vaccine researchers about your doubts.

you finally found a reference worth reading.

Dingo
04-30-2009, 04:55 PM
PNUTTRO

you finally found a reference worth reading.

Glad you enjoyed it.


Most people get infected by cytomegalovirus as children and have few complications or even symptoms. Nearly two-thirds of women in child-bearing years have already been infected with cytomegalovirus.

Sadly this is why a common infection can do so much damage and there is no obvious way to tell what's happening. Some infections hit nearly everyone but cause serious illness in just a few.

If someone is genetically susceptible or has some bad timing they can end up with a lifelong, chronic illness and never know why because there is no obvious outbreak.

Pooka1
04-30-2009, 06:22 PM
Sadly this is why a common infection can do so much damage and there is no obvious way to tell what's happening. Some infections hit nearly everyone but cause serious illness in just a few.

If someone is genetically susceptible or has some bad timing they can end up with a lifelong, chronic illness and never know why because there is no obvious outbreak.

Okay so if we have many/most people in a population who are infected with something that produces an illness/syndrome ONLY in combination with a genetic predisposition then you can claim it isn't related to genetics, right?

Dingo
04-30-2009, 07:10 PM
Pooka1

Okay so if we have many/most people in a population who are infected with something that produces an illness/syndrome ONLY in combination with a genetic predisposition then you can claim it isn't related to genetics, right?

If you are saying these aren't genetic diseases you are correct.

For example Polio might hit 1,000 kids before even 1 suffers from lifelong paralysis and deformity. This 1 child might be genetically susceptible to Polio Virus or just the disease process. Perhaps he was just unlucky. His immune system might have been low or he received a large exposure. It could be a lot of reasons.

But in spite of any genetic weakness or susceptability a vaccine stops Polio dead in it's tracks. Thankfully it's in the history books and nobody calls Polio a genetic disease.

Imagine how confused doctors would have been if Polio symptoms followed infection by months or even years. Researchers might have searched for Polio genes to this day. Odds are good they would have found quite a few by now.

Pooka1
04-30-2009, 07:36 PM
So let's assume only the people with the (rare?) genetic predisposition get the illness/syndrome when challenged with the (very common) pathogen.

I suggest that situation is best described as mixed cause or known to be complex.

NOT an environmental cause.

NOT a genetic cause.

Pooka1
04-30-2009, 07:37 PM
Imagine how confused doctors would have been if Polio symptoms followed infection by months or even years. Researchers might have searched for Polio genes to this day. Odds are good they would have found quite a few by now.

AIDs often follows infection by ten or more years and researchers still figured out it was HIV and not genes. How do you explain that?

Dingo
04-30-2009, 08:19 PM
pooka1

AIDs often follows infection by ten or more years and researchers still figured out it was HIV and not genes. How do you explain that?

I don't know a lot about AIDS research but perhaps it didn't look random. It hit certain groups particularly hard, it was fatal and it was brand new.

If AIDS had existed for thousands of years and hit every group in equal numbers it might not have looked like an infection.

Society might have grown to accept that 1 person in 250 gradually loses his/her immune system and dies a decade later. Genes certainly play a role in AIDS. If I remember correctly some people are genetically immune to it.

PNUTTRO
05-01-2009, 10:08 AM
Dingo.

I am still utterly amazed at your leaps in logic.

Dingo
05-01-2009, 11:19 AM
PNUTTRO

I don't mean this as a slight but from my perspective you've already made up your mind on Scoliosis. Maybe you are right to stick with a genetic explanation, time will tell.

However scientists don't know what triggers Scoliosis and there is credible data that you posted (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8480) that suggests that the environment could be the most important factor. There is no obvious reason to reject an infectious mechanism because we know Scoliosis is triggered by infections in both humans and animals.

To me it's very telling that after perhaps billions of dollars of research Autism scientists are shifting away from a genetic model and towards an environmental trigger / genetic susceptability model. The same process has already occured in Schizophrenia research.

Pooka1
05-01-2009, 07:27 PM
Dingo,

GIVEN:

The experts in this field are publishing results that a mostly false

AND:

We have one person in an allied field among a village of lay folks with near zip or in fact zip training to figure out what is going on

THEN:

We have a spectacle.

I don't think you appreciate the magnitude of the falseness of the results you cite or the myriad of things these researchers are missing and especially the UNIVERSE of things you aren't considering in your interpretations.

Pnuttro, with her background in an allied research field, has some sense of what we and the researchers are missing. I don't.

It is impossible to overstate the ridiculosity (sic) of the situation we find ourselves in with this and other threads.

Dingo
05-02-2009, 09:46 AM
Pooka1

I'm not even sure what you are getting at.

Are you saying that we can't know about Scoliosis or posess an educated opinion about Scoliosis?

Pooka1
05-02-2009, 09:48 AM
I'm saying if a majority of published results from the EXPERTS are false, how can you or I hope to suss out what is going on with an extremely complex medical situation?

Pooka1
05-02-2009, 09:52 AM
most results are false (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1182327)

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

John P. A. Ioannidis

John P. A. Ioannidis is in the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece, and Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Department of Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. E-mail: jioannid@cc.uoi.gr

Abstract

Summary

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.

Dingo
05-02-2009, 11:15 AM
Pooka1

If you believe that most research is false what are you doing in the research forum? You should be watching TV or reading a book or something.

Pooka1
05-02-2009, 01:13 PM
Pooka1

If you believe that most research is false what are you doing in the research forum? You should be watching TV or reading a book or something.

I'm here for the spectacle... with my popcorn at the ready.

Ballet Mom
06-16-2009, 09:53 PM
I had to laugh when I saw this tonight! Looks like Dingo is onto something. :D

http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20090616/hl_hsn/studyrefutesdepressiongenefinding

Dingo
06-16-2009, 11:51 PM
Ballet Mom

Study Refutes Depression Gene Finding (http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20090616/hl_hsn/studyrefutesdepressiongenefinding)


A new analysis upends a previous, highly acclaimed study that had concluded that a particular gene variation was associated with an increased risk of major depression.

It's the same story over and over and Scoliosis won't be any different. If scoliosis was a "genetic disease" it would be very obvious like Sickle Cell (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle-cell_disease), Muscular Dystrophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscular_dystrophy) or a hundred others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_genetic_disorders).

Someday scientists may discover genes that correlate with Scoliosis but don't actually cause the disease. Except in the rarest of cases that's as close to a genetic disease as Scoliosis will ever be.

Something in the environment is causing pinpoint damage to children's nervous systems (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf). This environmental trigger has been around for thousands of years or more. In my mind that narrows it down to a common, childhood infection. Time will tell.

Pooka1
06-17-2009, 06:47 AM
I had to laugh when I saw this tonight! Looks like Dingo is onto something. :D

http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20090616/hl_hsn/studyrefutesdepressiongenefinding

Why Most Published Research Findings Are False

John P. A. Ioannidis

John P. A. Ioannidis is in the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine, Ioannina, Greece, and Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Department of Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America. E-mail: jioannid@cc.uoi.gr

Abstract

Summary

There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research.

PNUTTRO
06-17-2009, 08:51 AM
The abstract failed to mention the immense pressure to publish data in order to keep one's job.

p

Pooka1
06-17-2009, 09:06 AM
The abstract failed to mention the immense pressure to publish data in order to keep one's job.

p

Yes it did. Maybe that is one reason why their published report was false (if it is). There are several others reason that have been identified.

Rather than being surprised/shocked/amazed/etc. that even major research results are later shown to be false, it should garner a yawn at this point.

Still, compared to bench research, it is far easier to sit back in a lay armchair and self-satifyingly criticize and deride individual reports from people who at least tried to do the hard work of finding the correct answer.

In general though not always, it is easier to rule things out than to show a positive result. That's the way science works... ruling out incorrect answers and hopefully the most correct answer that captures the most data in hand is left standing. And still that may not be the right answer. As unsatisfying as that may seem, science is still the only game in town for actually knowing anything.

Dingo
06-17-2009, 10:48 AM
PNUTTRO just hit on something that is quite relevant.


The abstract failed to mention the immense pressure to publish data in order to keep one's job.

Not long ago genes were the hot new thing. A tsunami of funding was allocated for genetic research and almost overnight every disease became a "genetic disease". For example until very recently 90% of all Autism research dollars went towards genetics (http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/articles/2007/08/13/under_suspicion/?page=full).

Scientists are in a no-win situation. Heritable genes aren't a likely candidate for most childhood illnesses. But since that's where the money is that's what scientists are forced to publish on.

concerned dad
06-17-2009, 02:37 PM
When I read that story yesterday about the study refuting the earlier study showing a genetic and depression link it immediately made me think of Dingo.
:)


also, as an aside,

But since that's where the money is that's what scientists are forced to publish on.
Hmmm, what does this sound like? Any other "Hot" fields of study drawing attention and research dollars now? :rolleyes:

Dingo
06-17-2009, 02:49 PM
Concerned Dad


When I read that story yesterday about the study refuting the earlier study showing a genetic and depression link it immediately made me think of Dingo.

Someday, perhaps ten years from now or more scientists will announce that Scoliosis is triggered by a microbe. On that day please remember the name Dingo. :)


Any other "Hot" fields of study drawing attention and research dollars now?

Alright, I give. What's the hot field right now? Scoliscore?

concerned dad
06-17-2009, 03:03 PM
Someday, perhaps ten years from now or more scientists will announce that Scoliosis is triggered by a microbe. On that day please remember the name Dingo. :)


Maybe we can all meet back here then and have a reunion. :D


Alright, I give. What's the hot field right now?

Don’t want to say it publicly because it is decidedly OT, controversial, and I may loose whatever little credibility I have. But I gave you a “hint” in the sentence you quoted.

Ballet Mom
06-17-2009, 03:05 PM
Must be global warming! ;)

concerned dad
06-17-2009, 03:06 PM
:eek:
;)
:D

Dingo
06-17-2009, 03:36 PM
Must be global warming!

Personally I think global warming is silly. However even if it's true there is every reason to believe that robots will take over the planet (http://ai.stanford.edu/~lsentis/files/ASIMO-new-773001.jpg) long before global warming has any measurable impact. :)

concerned dad
06-17-2009, 03:51 PM
Moving back on topic, I saw this today


Research uncovers clues to virus-cancer link (http://www.med.unc.edu/www/news/research-uncovers-clues-to-virus-cancer-link)

Pooka1
06-17-2009, 04:37 PM
also, as an aside,

Hmmm, what does this sound like? Any other "Hot" fields of study drawing attention and research dollars now? :rolleyes:

Simmer down, mister. :D;)

Pooka1
06-17-2009, 04:39 PM
Moving back on topic, I saw this today


Research uncovers clues to virus-cancer link (http://www.med.unc.edu/www/news/research-uncovers-clues-to-virus-cancer-link)

This result is most likely false and I can prove it. :D

Dingo
06-17-2009, 04:44 PM
Good find CD!

From your link


Dirk Dittmer, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at UNC’s School of Medicine, demonstrated that the Kaposi sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is not only present in every tumor cell, but that the cells also transcribe microRNAs (miRNA) from the virus.

For the most part illness has to work that way, ESPECIALLY in young people and children. Children don't spontaneously "get sick" because they have a gene. When someone is either mentally or physically ill something biologically destructive happened to them.

If you bet that way you'll be right 99% of the time.

Scoliosis hits some families particularly hard. That should give scientists a strong clue as to what the environmental component is.

Dingo
07-01-2009, 10:18 AM
Peptic Ulcer Bacterium Alters The Body's Defense System (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090629112825.htm)

Helicobacter pylori (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicobacter_pylori), the bacterium that causes ulcers (and stomach cancer) compromises the human immune system by reprogramming it to become less effective. This enables H Pylori to become a chronic infection and survive inside our bodies for a lifetime.

Couple that with this recent news story

Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_84327.html)

New evidence indicates that CMV infection (a type of herpes) triggers high blood pressure.


CMV infection is widespread, Crumpacker noted. Studies indicate that between 60 percent and 99 percent of adults worldwide are infected, according to the study. But aside from pregnancy, where CMV infection is associated with serious birth defects, it causes no problems for most adults "until they get something that compromises the immune system," he noted.

Long story short
There is no telling how many different infections and combinations of infections trigger chronic, health problems. Not long ago doctors believed that ulcers and high blood pressure were caused primarily by factors like diet, lifestyle and heredity.

Today many people believe that Scoliosis is caused by heredity. If history is any guide interest in heredity will recede and the environment will become the primary area of focus for Scoliosis researchers.

Dingo
07-02-2009, 12:07 AM
The genes that cause Schizophrenia have been discovered! (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/unlocked-the-secrets-of-schizophrenia-1727987.html)

... or have they? :)


Each mutation on its own increased the risk of developing schizophrenia by about 0.2 per cent but collectively they were found to account for at least a third of the total risk of developing schizophrenia.
As per usual we're talking about genetic risk factors.


The condition is known to have a strong inherited component, accounting for about 80 per cent of the total risk, but it is also influenced by upbringing and environment.
80% wait, what? Ok, I'm probably missing something but moving along...


Some of the genetic variations associated with schizophrenia appear to occur within a region of the genome known to be involved in controlling the immune system.
No kidding! :)


This might help to explain why babies born in winter and spring when influenza is rife, or to women who have had flu during pregnancy, are at slightly increased risk of developing schizophrenia in later life, the scientists said.

Slightly increased risk? Flu virus is a significant cause of Schizophrenia.

Maternal Flu Linked To Schizophrenia, Autism In Child (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071016090135.htm)


Since schizophrenia and autism have a strong (though elusive) genetic component, there is no absolute certainty that infection will cause the disorders in a given case, but it is believed that as many as 21 percent of known cases of schizophrenia may have been triggered in this way.

It's no wonder that Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are more common in dense urban areas.

Study Shows Role of Time and Place of Birth in Schizophrenia (http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/25/us/study-shows-role-of-time-and-place-of-birth-in-schizophrenia.html?sec=health&&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fOrganizations %2fN%2fNew%20England%20Journal%20of%20Medicine)


People born in Copenhagen, Denmark's capital, were 2.4 times as likely to develop schizophrenia as those born in rural areas, the study found. February and March were the months of birth associated with the highest risk; August and September were associated with the lowest risk.

Dingo
08-01-2009, 06:52 PM
Virus Linked To Some Cases Of Common Skin Cancer (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121048.htm)


They identified the virus in more than a third of the patients and in 15 percent of the tumors tested. In addition, all of the virus found in tumor cells had a mutation that could enable the viral DNA to integrate into the DNA of the host cell.


Originally it was thought that this virus caused only this rare skin cancer, but our findings indicate that it is a lot more prevalent than we initially thought.

---

Don't be surprised if scientists eventually discover that people with a particular gene are susceptible to this virus for reasons they may never understand. That's how stuff works.

PNUTTRO
08-05-2009, 12:08 PM
The role of viruses in cancer has been known since 1964 (Burkitt's lymphoma).

I still don't know what any of this has to do with scoliosis.

Pooka1
08-05-2009, 08:53 PM
Children don't spontaneously "get sick" because they have a gene.

Yes they do... emergent Marfans syndrome. One year you don't meet the criteria and the next you need prophylactic aortic root replacement surgery or risk death because you then meet the diagnostic criteria.

And by the way, very "mature" and "adult" of you to refer to me as "Kooka" rather than Pooka on Celia's yahoo group.:rolleyes:

Celia consistently mischaracterizes what I've said to the point that I think she really doesn't understand the arguments. And you join her in her hysterical nonsense. Not surprised but something for you to consider.

Dingo
08-06-2009, 08:49 AM
Prevalence of Marfan Syndrome (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9586150)


The prevalence of the syndrome is 7-17/100,000.

That's roughly 1 in 5,000 to 15,000 children which is what you'd expect from a potentially dangerous childhood, genetic disorder.

The rule of thumb is 1 in 10,000 children or less. Only a handful are more common and quite a few hit 1 child in hundreds of thousands or even millions.

Pooka1
08-09-2009, 09:11 AM
There have been complaints that this post is essentially too factual so I have edited twice...

Let me just say that anyone who has done a research doctorate and has gotten to the cutting edge and added to the science would say it takes a few years at least to get a sense of the literature in any one small, focused field.

It's best if one approaches it cautiously and slowly at first until they develop an accurate approach and have some good sense of the actual issues.

Pooka1
08-11-2009, 03:12 PM
I've toned down the facts in the previous post.

hdugger
08-24-2009, 10:51 AM
I know I'm swimming a long way upstream for this, but I had a lot of time to read this weekend while I was waiting for them to activate my account :)

I was (briefly) an epidemiologist and I know some of the people who worked to pinpoint the cause of AIDS, and this is exactly correct. Things that appear in a cluster (either geographical or behavioral) are mostly suspected to be non-genetic, even if there's quite a long delay for onset. So, because AIDS appeared in people who had the same behaviors (either homosexual relations or drug use) rather than in people who were related, they assumed it was contagious, and that it was somehow contagious through those behaviors. Since it affected the same groups that got Hepatitis C, they assumed pretty early on that it was contagious through blood.

Anyway, go on with your conversation :)

I'm here researching options for my son who has scoliosis/kyphosis. As far as I can tell, there's no genetic history of this condition in our families, so I'm interested in what the possible causes could be.


pooka1

AIDs often follows infection by ten or more years and researchers still figured out it was HIV and not genes. How do you explain that?

I don't know a lot about AIDS research but perhaps it didn't look random. It hit certain groups particularly hard, it was fatal and it was brand new.

If AIDS had existed for thousands of years and hit every group in equal numbers it might not have looked like an infection.

Society might have grown to accept that 1 person in 250 gradually loses his/her immune system and dies a decade later. Genes certainly play a role in AIDS. If I remember correctly some people are genetically immune to it.

Dingo
08-25-2009, 04:05 PM
Common STD Blamed for Half of Penile Cancers (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,542386,00.html)


A sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer is also to blame for half of all cases of cancer of the penis, Spanish researchers said on Tuesday.

Once again when young people get sick genes aren't usually the best explanation. That's not meant to discount the possibility of genetic susceptability to troublemakers like HPV or other microbes or toxins.

This type of cancer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinoma_of_the_penis) occurs in around 1 in 100,000 men in North America.

BTW, as a guy I find this really oogy.

PNUTTRO
08-26-2009, 06:32 PM
Once again when young people get sick genes aren't usually the best explanation. That's not meant to discount the possibility of genetic susceptability to troublemakers like HPV or other microbes or toxins.

Once again, when kids get cancer, it is almost always genetic. When kids (less than 5 years old) get a serious illness, it is usually caused by some congenital defect--genetic or otherwise.

p

Pooka1
08-26-2009, 08:36 PM
Once again, when kids get cancer, it is almost always genetic. When kids (less than 5 years old) get a serious illness, it is usually caused by some congenital defect--genetic or otherwise.

p

I think illness is caused by evil spirits, evil eyes, etc., not germs, not genes.

Dingo
08-26-2009, 09:10 PM
PNUTTRO


when kids get cancer, it is almost always genetic

If you are talking about cancers that hit roughly 1 in 10,000 children or less they certainly could be the result of heredity. If the cancer is more common than that you are probably talking about genetic susceptability to some other factor.

hdugger
08-26-2009, 09:31 PM
I'm not seeing that in the literature. Everything I see says around 5% of cancers in children have known genetic causes.

Even were it 100%, though, I presume our interest here is in understanding how environmental factors can change the course of the condition, regardless of its cause.

Dingo, I've been looking at the Melatonin studies. My son (kyphosis and scoliosis, onset around age 15) slept every night with *all* of the lights in his room on from about age 14 until 17. He has lots of other possible contributors - hypermobility, lack of balance, and some asymmetry in his muscles from an early age - but I do wonder now if that had some affect on him.

The question for me, with a now adult child of 21, is what I can do to give him the best long term results. Something I was reading at the University of Washington site (which I absolutely can't find tonight) said that while fusing addressed some of issues of scoliosis, it put new pressures on the spine which were likely to lead to arthritis above and below the fusion. I do wish there was something he could do which did not cause its own set of problems.


Once again, when kids get cancer, it is almost always genetic. When kids (less than 5 years old) get a serious illness, it is usually caused by some congenital defect--genetic or otherwise.

p

Dingo
08-26-2009, 10:29 PM
hdugger


The question for me, with a now adult child of 21, is what I can do to give him the best long term results.

I'm not an expert but it probably depends on how severe your son's cure is.

A mom forwarded me some information about an adult woman with Scoliosis. I'm not sure how bad the woman's curve was but she was in pain and was considering surgery. At some point she decided to give strength training a try. Lifting weights dramatically reduced her pain so she stuck with it. That was many years ago and today she feels great and wouldn't consider surgery. I've read that weak trunk muscles are a significant risk factor for back pain in healthy adults. Maybe the same is true for adults with Scoliosis.

Another treatment that may hold promise for adults with back pain is Ozone therapy (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309092832.htm). It's used around the world and should be in the USA soon. This isn't really designed for Scoliosis but I don't see why it wouldn't help.

If your son's back is healthy enough to hold out another decade or two advanced technology may be able to dramatically improve his Scoliosis. There are a few different internal braces in development right now (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2365545). Dental braces used to be for kids but today adults use them as well. Maybe back braces will be the same. Like dental braces internal spine braces are removed after the job is done.

BTW when my son was diagnosed with Scoliosis at age 5 he was sleeping with tons of lights on as well. He had a night light, hall light, bathroom light and a street light shining through his window. I had no idea that was unhealthy. Exposure to light at night (melatonin disruption) is a risk factor for all sorts of cancers (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1203518556682&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull) including childhood Leukemia (http://cmbi.bjmu.edu.cn/news/0409/44.htm). It's an easy problem to fix but very few people are aware of it.

Pooka1
08-27-2009, 05:22 AM
The question for me, with a now adult child of 21, is what I can do to give him the best long term results. Something I was reading at the University of Washington site (which I absolutely can't find tonight) said that while fusing addressed some of issues of scoliosis, it put new pressures on the spine which were likely to lead to arthritis above and below the fusion. I do wish there was something he could do which did not cause its own set of problems.

Could you please post that when you find it?

Thanks in advance,
sharon

Dingo
08-27-2009, 08:58 AM
PNUTTRO


Once again, when kids get cancer, it is almost always genetic. When kids (less than 5 years old) get a serious illness, it is usually caused by some congenital defect--genetic or otherwise.

Speaking of congenital defects...

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


Their work demonstrates, for the first time, that exposure to viral infection -- especially viruses of the herpes group -- may be associated with pregnancy-induced hypertensive disease (pre-eclampsia) and also with pre-term birth.


The research discovered the presence of viral nucleic acid in heel-prick blood samples from 1326 newborn babies, taken over a 10-year period. More than 400 of these babies were diagnosed with cerebral palsy.


"We are just beginning to understand the interaction and importance of exposure to viruses and genetic susceptibility to infection both in pregnancy and the newborn," says Associate Professor Paul Goldwater, the virologist of the team.

Once again a common set of childhood disorders comes back to genetic susceptability and environmental damage.

Ballet Mom
08-27-2009, 10:34 AM
Hi Dingo! Keep it up, love ya! :)

hdugger
08-27-2009, 10:36 AM
hmm, the quotes I find now are not exactly what I remembered, but here's what I see:

Effectiveness

The success rate of stable fusion and correction of spinal deformity is very high in experienced hands. The average curve correction is approximately 70 percent and the likelihood of complications has been about 2 to 3 percent overall. The fusion of the bones (enabling the bones to grow together) is permanent.

There are concerns about long-term degenerative arthritis that may appear 30 to 50 years later in segments of the spine that were not fused. Currently, there is not adequate follow-up information on the procedure to know the frequency of this problem.

http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/idiopathic/tabID__3376/ItemID__280/PageID__3/Articles/Default.aspx

3. Spinal fusion surgery for idiopathic scoliosis addresses problems of deformity and progression of deformity well. However, it does not make the back normal and so the patient may experience degenerative problems in 30 to 50 years which may require additional treatment.

http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/idiopathic/tabID__3376/ItemID__280/PageID__8/Articles/Default.aspx


Could you please post that when you find it?

Thanks in advance,
sharon

hdugger
08-27-2009, 10:41 AM
His PT gave him a set of core and back muscle exercises, along with advice to swim a few times a week and, in a few months, start some non-throwing form of martial arts. We'll check in with a Dr during the winter break to see if there's any improvement.




A mom forwarded me some information about an adult woman with Scoliosis. I'm not sure how bad the woman's curve was but she was in pain and was considering surgery. At some point she decided to give strength training a try. Lifting weights dramatically reduced her pain so she stuck with it. That was many years ago and today she feels great and wouldn't consider surgery. I've read that weak trunk muscles are a significant risk factor for back pain in healthy adults. Maybe the same is true for adults with Scoliosis.

Dingo
08-27-2009, 01:47 PM
hdugger

It might sound kooky but your son is in this for the long haul so he might want to consider a healthy diet to lower the levels of inflammation in his body. I'd guess that a significant spinal curve would lead to chronic inflammation. Inflammation creates pain and slowly destroys the joints.

Fish oil is a proven anti-inflammatory that helps many different conditions. Doctors even give it to children with Autism (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16920077?dopt=AbstractPlus) to reduce the inflammation in their brains (http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/11/16/1244691.htm). Over a long period of time this might slow any extra disc deterioration he may experience because of his curve.

There is book called The Gold Coast Cure (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757302351/ref=s9_simz_gw_s11_p14_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0HQ695Y2W09ZE6V01Z43&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846) that teaches people about anti-inflammatory foods. Many people with autoimmune diseases use this system because it's known to reduce inflammation in the body. One of the co-authors has Multiple Sclerosis, the other is a doctor.

Basically a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep and low stress all contribute to low levels of inflammation in the body.

hdugger
08-27-2009, 02:02 PM
Thanks, Dingo. That's a good idea.

He eats pretty well, but doesn't get much fish in his dorm food. He's also convinced that the sun has some curative power for him.

Pooka1
08-27-2009, 03:09 PM
hmm, the quotes I find now are not exactly what I remembered, but here's what I see:

Effectiveness

The success rate of stable fusion and correction of spinal deformity is very high in experienced hands. The average curve correction is approximately 70 percent and the likelihood of complications has been about 2 to 3 percent overall. The fusion of the bones (enabling the bones to grow together) is permanent.

There are concerns about long-term degenerative arthritis that may appear 30 to 50 years later in segments of the spine that were not fused. Currently, there is not adequate follow-up information on the procedure to know the frequency of this problem.

http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/idiopathic/tabID__3376/ItemID__280/PageID__3/Articles/Default.aspx

3. Spinal fusion surgery for idiopathic scoliosis addresses problems of deformity and progression of deformity well. However, it does not make the back normal and so the patient may experience degenerative problems in 30 to 50 years which may require additional treatment.

http://www.orthop.washington.edu/uw/idiopathic/tabID__3376/ItemID__280/PageID__8/Articles/Default.aspx

Hi.

Thanks for posting that.

Development of arthritis above and below fusions can only be interpreted as against the rate of this condition in the general population or in specific age cohorts.

As we have determined, some 85% of the general population will have at least one back problem in their life. So to show that fusion predisposes someone to something like arthritis, you need to determine what the spinal arthritis rate is in the general population, hopefully in various age cohorts.

Now it could be that 100% of folks with fusions get arthritis. Or that fused people tend to get it earlier in life. But you can't show that those situations are unusual and likely related to the fusion until you show the statistics for the general population.

I looked around the web a bit and couldn't find hard numbers for spinal arthritis in the general population. But I did find the following site which claims that DDD is as certain as death and taxed and that DDD, in combination with other things, causes arthritis of the spine.

http://www.back.com/causes-mechanical-degenerative.html

I also found this twins study (twins studies being always a favorite on this group), claiming to show a large genetic influence on disc degeneration...

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S152994300801440X

I also found this article which purports to show a genetic basis for lumbar disc degeneration...

http://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Abstract/2005/11010/Radiographic_Progression_of_Lumbar_Spine_Disc.18.a spx

Now I'd like to the see the data indicating possible concern for arthritis above and below fusions that the U of W researchers are referring to in order to compare with what else can be found.

hdugger
08-27-2009, 03:48 PM
Ah, here's some info (and sorry Dingo for highjacking your thread - let me know if you want these posts moved to a new thread)

The condition is called Adjacent segment disease. I just did a quick search and grabbed the first few things I found:

"Patients who have been operated upon for scoliosis can also experience pain for reasons that are related to the original scoliosis, or to the surgery that was done to correct it. For instance, the intervertebral discs adjacent to a fused segment of the spine often wear out faster than they would normally, and this condition can become painful. This is called "adjacent segment disease", and it can be a reason why the fusion may need to be extended to include additional levels many years after the original surgery. Also, not all scoliosis surgeries are successful, and certain problems can arise after the operation. A pseudoarthrosis, or false joint, is an area where the fusion has failed to properly develop between two vertebral bodies. The abnormal motion in an area of a pseudoarthrosis can be quite painful and may require further operations in order to get the segment to fuse properly."

http://www.iscoliosis.com/symptoms-pain.html

And then a study

CONCLUSION: Biomechanical alterations likely play a primary role in causing adjacent segment disease. Radiographically apparent, asymptomatic adjacent segment disease is common but does not correlate with functional outcomes. Potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of adjacent segment disease include fusion without instrumentation, protecting the facet joint of the adjacent segment during placement of pedicle screws,fusion length, and sagittal balance. Surgical management, when indicated, consists of decompression of neural elements and extension of fusion. Outcomes after surgery, however, are modest.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15534420

I'll look some more tonight.

hdugger
08-27-2009, 03:52 PM
Also apparently called "Transitional syndrome"

"The continuing dilemma in spine care is that multi-level rigid spine fixation typically creates adjacent stress-related pathology of adjacent spinal segments as well as stress-related problems directed to the pelvis; often related to the sacro-iliac joint. These are commonly referred to as "transitional syndromes." These problems are not infrequently create more patient disability than the problem for which the fusion was initially performed to address. Often the treatment of transitional syndromes require additional surgery."

http://www.burtonreport.com/infspine/SurgStabilTransitionalSynd.htm

Absolutley no idea about the quality of this work, but the premise makes sense.

Pooka1
08-27-2009, 04:29 PM
Okay as far as I can tell, these are NOT related to the original post about the incidence of arthritis above and below the fusion. These are OTHER issues.


Ah, here's some info (and sorry Dingo for highjacking your thread - let me know if you want these posts moved to a new thread)

The condition is called Adjacent segment disease. I just did a quick search and grabbed the first few things I found:

"Patients who have been operated upon for scoliosis can also experience pain for reasons that are related to the original scoliosis, or to the surgery that was done to correct it. For instance, the intervertebral discs adjacent to a fused segment of the spine often wear out faster than they would normally, and this condition can become painful. This is called "adjacent segment disease", and it can be a reason why the fusion may need to be extended to include additional levels many years after the original surgery. Also, not all scoliosis surgeries are successful, and certain problems can arise after the operation. A pseudoarthrosis, or false joint, is an area where the fusion has failed to properly develop between two vertebral bodies. The abnormal motion in an area of a pseudoarthrosis can be quite painful and may require further operations in order to get the segment to fuse properly."

These are well-known and it is equally well-known when they occur (i.e., mainly a function of where the fusion ends as I understand it.) If it ends about L1 or L2, this is not expected to occur per my understanding. My daughter's fusion ends at L1 and I was told she is not expected to need an extension in her life due to this or any reason. "One-stop shopping" for surgery in her case is what the surgeon told me.


http://www.iscoliosis.com/symptoms-pain.html

And then a study

CONCLUSION: Biomechanical alterations likely play a primary role in causing adjacent segment disease. Radiographically apparent, asymptomatic adjacent segment disease is common but does not correlate with functional outcomes. Potentially modifiable risk factors for the development of adjacent segment disease include fusion without instrumentation, protecting the facet joint of the adjacent segment during placement of pedicle screws,fusion length, and sagittal balance. Surgical management, when indicated, consists of decompression of neural elements and extension of fusion. Outcomes after surgery, however, are modest.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15534420

I'll look some more tonight.

That study concerns LUMBAR fusions and is not known to be relevant to thoracic fusions as far as I know.

If you can find the data about arthritis incidence above and below the fused segments that the U of W researchers are apparently referring to, that would be edifying.

Pooka1
08-27-2009, 04:32 PM
Also apparently called "Transitional syndrome"

"The continuing dilemma in spine care is that multi-level rigid spine fixation typically creates adjacent stress-related pathology of adjacent spinal segments as well as stress-related problems directed to the pelvis; often related to the sacro-iliac joint. These are commonly referred to as "transitional syndromes." These problems are not infrequently create more patient disability than the problem for which the fusion was initially performed to address. Often the treatment of transitional syndromes require additional surgery."

http://www.burtonreport.com/infspine/SurgStabilTransitionalSynd.htm

Absolutley no idea about the quality of this work, but the premise makes sense.

Again, this is only relevant to lumbar fusions.

If you find anything on thoracic fusins long-term, I would be keenly interested in that. Our surgeon told me my (thoracically-)fused daughter is back in the general population on risk of all future back issues. Now obviously that reflects the state of evidence now and is a projection since there are no long-term studies with this instrumentation.

ETA: It also likely reflects the 85% incidence of back issues in the general population.

Dingo
08-27-2009, 06:19 PM
Years ago I had one vertebrae fused in my neck due to what I believe was a sports injury that eventually gave out. I was in tremendous pain and I'm glad that I had surgery.

However...

The surgeon accidentally snagged my vocal chords during the procedure and I lost most of my voice for a couple of months. Immediately after surgery my sneezes became twice as loud and that is true to this day. I can't explain that one. A few years after surgery I began to feel a scratch in my throat that has never gone away.

If my child needed fusion I'd do it, but it would be my last resort. All you have to do is read a few threads about surgery horror stories on this and other boards to see why.

LindaRacine
09-05-2009, 11:43 AM
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2009 Aug 15;34(18):E659-63.Click here to read Links
Comparison of the melatonin and calmodulin in paravertebral muscle and platelets of patients with or without adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
Acaroglu E, Akel I, Alanay A, Yazici M, Marcucio R.

Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. eacarogl@hacettepe.edu.tr

STUDY DESIGN: Controlled clinical study. OBJECTIVE.: To compare muscle and platelet calmodulin and melatonin concentrations of scoliotic and nonscoliotic populations. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Melatonin and calmodulin are potential key molecules in scoliosis etiology. Calmodulin is not only a second messenger of melatonin but also has been shown to have effects on muscle contractility. There is a possibility that it may be of importance in the regulation of spinal alignment. Platelets have been defined as mini muscles calmodulin and melatonin levels of which may be the projections of muscle values. METHODS: Twenty patients undergoing posterior surgery for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and 9 thoracic-lumbar trauma patients undergoing posterior surgery constituted the population. Autologous bloods were collected and processed to obtain platelets. Paravertebral muscle tissue samples from both sides were obtained at T12-L1 level intraoperatively. Muscle and platelet samples were analyzed for the levels of melatonin by radio immuno assay and for calmodulin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis. Groups, concave (left side for the control group) and convex side (right side for the control group), muscles and platelet median protein concentrations, and optic densitometry (OD) ratio values were compared. RESULTS: AIS group consisted of 2 male and 18 female patients. Mean age was 16.1 +/- 3.78 (11-29). Control group consisted of 5 male and 4 female patients. Mean age was 35 +/- 13.47 (16-55). Platelet Calmodulin OD/Supernatant's OD ratios and both convex and concave sides' muscle Calmodulin OD/Supernatants' OD ratios were not different between groups. On the other hand, convex side muscle calmodulin to total muscle calmodulin ratios were higher in AIS group compared with concave (P = 0.048); likewise, concave side calmodulin to total calmodulin ratios were lower in AIS group compared with control (P = 0.035). Convex side calmodulin to concave side calmodulin ratios were significantly different among groups (P = 0.048). Neither platelet melatonin to total protein ratios, nor convex or concave side muscle melatonin to total protein ratios, nor convex to concave side melatonin ratios were significantly different between groups. Convex or concave side calmodulin or melatonin values were not correlated with platelet values. CONCLUSION: AIS group had an asymmetric distribution of calmodulin in paraspinal muscle, higher at the convex side and lower at the concave. Neither platelet melatonin nor platelet calmodulin was found to be representative of the muscle protein values.

Dingo
09-07-2009, 09:32 AM
LindaRacine

This study probably belongs in the Melatonin thread. I talked to one of the scientists involved in this study and another noted researcher who reviewed this study for me.

This particular study dug up some gold but that relates to Torso Rotation Strength Training (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8976), not Melatonin.

Ballet Mom
09-07-2009, 04:25 PM
Prostate Cancer’s Worst Form Linked to Gene-Influencing Virus

By Rob Waters

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A virus has been linked to the most aggressive form of prostate cancer, potentially leading the way to identifying men with the deadliest tumors and pinpointing their treatment.

The discovery, reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involves the XMRV virus, discovered just three years ago, said Ila Singh, an associate professor of pathology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Forty-four percent of men with tumors graded 9 out of 10 for severity on a standard scale had evidence of XMRV, Singh’s study found.

More than 190,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year and 27,000 will die, according to the National Cancer Institute. A more accurate way to identify the riskiest cases might improve therapy, since some tumors are slow growing and don’t require aggressive treatment with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, all of which carry side effects.

“There is a need for a better test to help determine who would benefit from treatment versus who could be left alone,” said Singh, in a Sept. 4 telephone interview. “If this virus turns out to be a cause for a subset of aggressive tumors, then it would be a good test to use and might be better than PSA"..........

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a4mbqkGaCrqs

Pooka1
09-07-2009, 04:32 PM
http://richarddawkins.net/article,4271,Breakthrough-Discoveries-of-Alzheimers-Genes,Alice-Park---Time-via-Yahoo-News

Fifteen years since the last discovery of its kind, scientists have finally identified a new set of genes that may contribute to Alzheimer's disease.

The three new genes, known as clusterin, complement receptor 1 (CR1) and PICALM, were uncovered by two separate research groups, one in Wales and one in France, who linked the genes to the most common form of the memory disorder, late-onset Alzheimer's - the type that affects patients in their 60s or later and accounts for about 90% of all Alzheimer's cases. The only other gene connected with the condition, apolipoprotein E (ApoE), was identified in 1993; since, researchers have tirelessly hunted for other key genes, knowing that 60% to 80% of the progressive, incurable disease is genetically based.

Dingo
09-07-2009, 04:38 PM
Ballet Mom

Good find, I don't think I've ever heard of a prostate cancer virus!

Dingo
09-07-2009, 04:43 PM
Pooka1

Genes probably do create a susceptability to Alzheimers as they do in all disease.

But scientists have suspected for a long time that Herpes plays a potentially decisive role in Alzhemiers (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081207134109.htm). Other viruses are also being looked at closely.


The virus behind cold sores is a major cause of the insoluble protein plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's disease sufferers, University of Manchester researchers have revealed.

Now it's easily possible that a common disease that kills 80 year olds could be entirely genetic. For obvious reasons natural selection has a hard time eliminating those types of genes. But in the case of Alzheimers it doesn't look like that's the case.

Dingo
09-25-2009, 11:34 PM
Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Associated With Rare Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090923163846.htm)


...infection with MCPyV is common in the general population...

It's logical to assume that exposure to a particular microbe will trigger a particular disease. However that's not always the case. Exposure to MCPyV is common but the type of skin cancer that it triggers is extremely rare. No doubt scientists will eventually discover that some unlucky few have a genetic or situational susceptability to MCPyV or the damage that it causes.

If scientists ultimately determine that a microbe triggers the nervous system damage that causes Scoliosis (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) there is every reason to suspect that it might be as common as MCPyV. Many if not most children would be exposed but very few would get Scoliosis. That's how Polio worked (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poliomyelitis). 90% to 95% of cases were asymptomatic. In just 3% of cases the Polio virus entered the nervous system. In only a tiny fraction of those cases a child would suffer temporary or permanent paralysis.

On a somewhat related note

Vaccination could eliminate cervical cancer within 50 years (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090924093347.htm).


"It's important to say up front that the HPV is responsible for all cervix cancer,"


There's overwhelming evidence that HPV screening is more effective than the Pap smear test, which misses about a third to a half of all high grade lesions...

It looks like Pap smear tests and cervical cancer are about to fade into the history books. HPV causes a lot more than cervical cancer (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_4_2X_Can_penile_cancer_be_prevented_35.asp). I'm going to make sure my sons are vaccinated for HPV when they get a little older.

Side Note:
UGA professor studies HPV vaccine (http://media.www.redandblack.com/media/storage/paper871/news/2009/09/09/News/Uga-Professor.Studies.Hpv.Vaccine-3765866-page2.shtml)
Gardasil protects people against 4 types of HPV. Gardasil plus offers protection from 9 types of HPV and should hit the market within 5 years.

concerned dad
09-26-2009, 11:20 AM
Dingo (also known, to me, as Augusto Odone of Lorenzo’s Oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo's_Oil_(film))),
I read an article the other day and thought of you. I applaud your open mind and quest for answers. I know you’ve received some ridicule here for your sometimes, shall I say, “emphatic” stance on the possibility that scoliosis may be caused by a virus. But, I believe that thinking outside the box and setting aside preconceived notions can lead to breakthroughs.

In any event, the article that I read was about autism. The article is about a father (whose son has a form of autism called Fragile X Syndrome) who (like yourself) learned everything he could about his sons condition and linked new research with a possible treatment and met with a scientist to discuss it. The scientist said:

“In one hour the whole relevant literature is presented to you and you come away with a gut feeling that this could work out,” Santarelli, Roche’s head of central nervous system exploratory development, said in an interview. “For a scientist, a Eureka moment is why we live and do this job. You have very few, but that was one of them.”

I fervently hope (dare I say PRAY ;) ) that one day your efforts will lead to a Eureka moment.

The article is here (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a0S62zPmBtN0).

Ballet Mom
09-26-2009, 05:35 PM
Because of Dingo's comments, I have been looking into the possible link between infectious disease and scoliosis. Here is a quote I found, however, I don't have the link to it because I copied only the paragraphs I wanted to keep for my own records. It was not a scientific site, kind of fluff, but it had an interesting comment:


Do Infections Cause Scoliosis and Sciatica?

A growing amount of scientific research shows that certain microorganisms lodge near the spinal cord and contribute to deformities. Studies at Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland, linked virus-like particles to idiopathic scoiosis. (1,2) Researchers at the University of Bonn have also found the varicella zoster virus can lodge in the spinal ganglia throughout life. (3)

Research in 2001 further corroborated the existence of infectious microorganisms as a cause of spine pain and inflammation. Alistair Stirling and his colleagues at the Royal Orthopedic Hospital in Birmingham, England, found that 53 percent of patients with severe sciatica tested positive for chronic, low-grade infection by gram-negative (particularly Propionbacterium acnes) which triggered inflammation near the spine. Stirling suggested that the reason these bacterial had not been identified earlier was because of the extended time required to incubate disc material (7days). (4)

The tuberculosis mycobacterium has also been shown to contribute to spinal disease and possibly deformations. Research at the Pasteur Institute in France, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, documented increasing numbers of patients showing evidence of spinal disease (Pott's disease) caused by tuberculosis. (5,6,7,8)

In addition, vaccines made from live viruses have been linked to spinal problems. A 1982 study by Pincott and Taff found a connection between oral poliomyelitis vaccines and scoliosis(9)

There is an article in Spine that refutes the Stirling study re: Propionbacterium acnes and chalks it up to culture contamination. However....my daughter has had a significant case of acne for the past couple of years and has been on large doses of various antibiotics since before last Christmas (none of which have worked very well until a recent change to Sumycin). And in her April x-ray, her compensatory curve had reduced dramatically and currently it is hard for me to see my daughter's curves at all, I have to feel around on her back to see if there is still a curve there (there is). I am quite curious to go to her next x-ray appt.

She also had a case of variant chickenpox prior to having what was probably the onset of her scoliosis. She had received the varicella vaccine when she was little, but was one of those that ended up getting a very strange case of chickenpox due to having had the vaccine. She actually ended up having some strange ballet movements after that for a while, including having her leg up in Grand Battement while everyone else's was down and vice versa, and she didn't think what she was doing was wrong....very odd. But you wonder what that virus could do if in the spinal ganglia.

Now, I have no idea if any of this is connected, but it certainly makes me think that there is a missing trigger and it could very well be an infectious agent of some sort.

Here's hoping that Eureka moment comes soon!

CD, I read that article the other day and thought it was awesome.

concerned dad
09-26-2009, 05:58 PM
I'm betting Dingo (and others) would like to see the references in the text you quoted above
Here they are
1. Green RJ, Webb JN, Maxwell MH. The nature of virus-like particles in the paraxial muscles of idiopathic scoliosis. J. Pathol. 1979 Sep; 129 (1):9-12.
2. Webb JN, Gillespie WJ. Virus-like particles in paraspinal muscle in scoliosis. Br Med J. 1976 Oct 16;2 (6041):912-3
3. Wolff MH, Buchell F, Gullotta F, Helpap B, Schneweiss KE. Investigations to demonstrate latent viral infection of varicella-Zoster virus in human spine ganglia. Verh Dtsch Ges Pathol. 1981;65:202-7
4. Stirling AL, et al., Association between sciatica and Proionbacterium acnes. Lancelot 2001:V357
5. Nagrath SP, Hazra DK, Pant Pc, Seth HC. Tuberculisis spine--a diagnoistic conundrum. Case report. J Assoc Physicians India. 1974 May;l22(5):405-7
6Jenks PJ, Stewart B. Images clinical medicine. Vertibral tuberculosis. N Engl J Med. 1998 4;338(23):1677.
7. Monaghan D, Gupta A, Barrington NA. Case report: Tuberculosis of the spine---an unusual presentation. Clin Radiol. 1991 May; 43(5):360-2.
8. Peterson CK, Craw M, Radiological differentiation of tuberculosis and pyogenic osteomyelitis: a case report. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1986 Mar;9(1):39-42.
9. Pinott JR, Taffs LF. Experimental scoliosis in primates: a neurological cause. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1982;64(4):503-7.

Ballet Mom
09-26-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks for posting those CD.

Dingo
09-26-2009, 10:22 PM
Concerned Dad

You are too nice. I just want what every parent wants for his kids. An easy, normal childhood. I haven't been as active on the boards lately because I think (hope) I've found a system that works. Scott is doing his exercises and in 2 months he has his next recheck. Whatever the results are I'll post them here.

BTW, that Fragile-X link was awesome! If this drug works I wonder how society will treat people who look like they have Downs Syndrome but think as well as everyone else.

Dingo
09-26-2009, 10:47 PM
BalletMom


She also had a case of variant chickenpox prior to having what was probably the onset of her scoliosis.

Chickenpox is a type of Herpes and there is no theoretical reason to exclude it as a possible cause of Scoliosis.

Herpes can cause Encephalitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encephalitis) and Meningitis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meningitis).

It also causes Cerebral Palsy (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080218134633.htm).


The research discovered the presence of viral nucleic acid in heel-prick blood samples from 1326 newborn babies, taken over a 10-year period. More than 400 of these babies were diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Pretty much anything that can damage the nervous system could be a possible cause of Scoliosis. However the type of damage the body suffers appears to be the result of a "smart bomb" not a wrecking ball. Children with Scoliosis don't have low IQs or other health problems. It's a very precise type of damage. This leads me to guess it's some sort of autoimmune disorder that is triggered by exposure to a microbe or something else that floats around in the environment.

That's the way Diabetes (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305141639.htm) and Narcolepsy (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8025662.stm) work. In genetically susceptible people a virus triggers the bodies immune system to destroy a very specific type of cell leaving everything else intact and in perfect, working order.

Dingo
10-02-2009, 09:16 AM
Microbes can trigger damage and misdevelopment that might not be evident until decades later.

Reuters: Heart disease link to prenatal flu exposure (http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE59001A20091001)

"Caleb Finch of the University of Southern California and colleagues studied records from the 1918 flu pandemic and found that boys whose mothers were infected during the second or third trimester of pregnancy with them had a 23 percent greater chance of having heart disease after age 60 than boys whose mothers were not infected.

Girls exposed in the second or third trimesters were not at greater risk for cardiovascular problems. But girls infected during the first trimester were 17 percent more likely than the general population have heart disease later in life."

"The researchers examined records of more than 100,000 people born around the time of the 1918 flu outbreak in the United States. They also examined the height of 2.7 million men born between 1915 and 1922, using military enrollment records from World War II.

Results showed that average height increased every successive year except for the period coinciding with fetal exposure to the flu pandemic."

Dingo
10-09-2009, 09:17 AM
NYTimes: Virus Is Found in Many With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/health/research/09virus.html)


“My first reaction is, ‘At last,’ ” Dr. Schaffner said. “In interacting with patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, you get the distinct impression that there’s got to be something there.”


An article published online Thursday in the journal Science reports that 68 of 101 patients with the syndrome, or 67 percent, were infected with an infectious virus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV. By contrast, only 3.7 percent of 218 healthy people were infected. Continuing work after the paper was published has found the virus in nearly 98 percent of about 300 patients with the syndrome, said Dr. Judy A. Mikovits, the lead author of the paper.

Reuters: Study isolates virus in chronic fatigue sufferers (http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN08539703)


Known formally as xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, XMRV has also been found in some prostate tumors and is also known to cause leukemia and tumors in animals.

A Twin Study of Chronic Fatigue (http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/6/936)


RESULTS: The concordance rate was higher in monozygotic than dizygotic twins for each definition of chronic fatigue. For idiopathic chronic fatigue, the concordance rates were 55% in monozygotic (identical twins) and 19% in dizygotic (fraternal) twins (p = .042). The estimated heritability in liability was 19% (95% confidence interval = 0–56) for chronic fatigue 6 months, 30% (95% confidence interval = 0–81) for chronic fatigue not explained by medical conditions, and 51% (95% confidence interval = 7–96) for idiopathic chronic fatigue.

That's 2 or 3 times higher concordance than what is found in Idiopathic Scoliosis (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18679518).

concerned dad
10-09-2009, 10:20 AM
Funny, I just about to share that NY Times article with you.
A couple more extracts from the article:

XMRV is a retrovirus, a member of the same family of viruses as the AIDS virus. These viruses carry their genetic information in RNA rather than DNA, and they insert themselves into their hosts’ genetic material and stay for life.
…….….snip
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, said the discovery was exciting and made sense.
…snip
He said the illness is intensely frustrating to doctors because it is not understood, there is no effective treatment and many patients are sick for a long time.

He added, “This is going to create an avalanche of subsequent studies.”

As an aside, my interest in this goes deeper than scoliosis in so far as the potential tie-in to the field of RNA interference (RNAi - Fire and Mello won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for their work in RNAi). Their work may have opened the door to a whole new approach to treating many conditions, diseases and virus’s. I don’t pretend to understand much of this but I have “rolled the dice” so to speak by investing in a couple of small biotech companies with promising pipelines utilizing this technology.

Dingo
10-09-2009, 01:15 PM
As an aside, my interest in this goes deeper than scoliosis in so far as the potential tie-in to the field of RNA interference (RNAi - Fire and Mello won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for their work in RNAi). Their work may have opened the door to a whole new approach to treating many conditions, diseases and virus’s. I don’t pretend to understand much of this but I have “rolled the dice” so to speak by investing in a couple of small biotech companies with promising pipelines utilizing this technology.

Good deal, I hope your investment pays off!

The rate at which scientists learn about illness continues to accelerate. I imagine that in another 20 or 30 years most of the common illnesses that we read about today will be well on their way to the history books.

Scoliosis won't be something our grandchildren have to face and there is a very real possibility that a "cure" will be out within a decade. It's easily possible that a common, anti-inflammatory medicine administered during the pubertal growth spurt will stop or greatly slow curve progression in most kids. The new OPN blood test (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008119170&IA=CA2008000595&DISPLAY=DESC) will allow rapid testing to determine which medicine is effective.

PNUTTRO
10-10-2009, 01:32 PM
RNAi is excited technology. I use it myself to regulate gene expression experimentally. The two big problems with it are: 1. delivery. How to get the small molecule into the cells that need to be treated? and 2. the effect is transient. For scoliosis, we still have the additional problem of what cell type to treat. (bone, muscle, nerve, connective tissue?) The good news is that the delivery issue is one that is being hotly pursued.

concerned dad
10-12-2009, 08:29 AM
Pnuttro, that is very cool that you are working with RNAi techniques.
I have heard that delivery is an obstacle. I read that the company that Mello started claims to have had success with oral delivery. The two companies that I invested (rolled the dice) with deliver their stuff with a needle. One is going after a treatment for muscular dystrophy (using RNAi to restore dystrophen production) and the other has a trial where they are attempting to use RNAi to make cancer cells more susceptible to chemo and radiation.
As you say, one problem with scoliosis is that they dont know what to go after/target yet.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that smart people like yourself with acheive some major breakthroughs in the science.
If anyone is interested in reading/watching some background on RNAI here is a link to a PBS show (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3210/02.html)discussing it.

Dingo
10-12-2009, 09:14 AM
For scoliosis, we still have the additional problem of what cell type to treat. (bone, muscle, nerve, connective tissue?)

Scoliosis appears to be set in motion because a core function in the nervous system is broken. Bone, muscle and possibly other tissue is impacted. A curved spine is just one side effect of a wider, underlying problem.

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

We began our analysis of melatonin signaling with osteoblasts not only because bone tissue is well known to respond to melatonin in vitro and in vivo,27–29 but also because the persistent osteopenia often observed in patients with AIS and in pinealectomized animals suggested that bone tissue is particularly affected in AIS.21,30,32,33 More recently, the histomorphometric data of Cheng et al on iliac crest biopsies and vertebrae of scoliotic patients showed that the osteoblasts and osteoclasts, the 2 bone-forming cell types, are impaired in their differentiation and/or functions in patients with AIS.31 However, it is unlikely that bone is the only tissue affected in patients with AIS because melatonin-signaling activities have been demonstrated in many tissues and systems. Preliminary data obtained by similar assays with skeletal myoblasts, isolated from the same pool of patients and control patients, revealed that melatonin signaling is also impaired in muscle cells from patients with AIS (Moreau et al, unpublished data). In that perspective, it will be important to assess the contribution of each individual tissue and system where this neuro-hormone exerts its function to determine whether or not AIS pathogenesis is triggered by a systemic defect in melatonin signaling and the causes of such dysfunction.

aterry
10-16-2009, 03:08 PM
It might be helpful if this site was adjusted to be only about surgery. Since those who are interested in other approaches are, indeed, bullied. Even if the bullying is well-intentioned (if that's not an oxymoron) because there is an effort to "out" inauthentic posters. Another sister site could address the other threads such as research, bracing, waiting and watching so interested parties could explore those w/o the vitriol.

Pooka1
10-16-2009, 03:35 PM
It might be helpful if this site was adjusted to be only about surgery. Since those who are interested in other approaches are, indeed, bullied. Even if the bullying is well-intentioned (if that's not an oxymoron) because there is an effort to "out" inauthentic posters. Another sister site could address the other threads such as research, bracing, waiting and watching so interested parties could explore those w/o the vitriol.

You might like Fixscoliosis's site:

http://www.fixscoliosis.com/forum/index.php

It is almost non-stop blind leading the blind, though. But that's what some people want so they should have it. It's a shame because Fix was very good here at first. I thought he was an asset.

I wish we had an evidence-based chiropractor posting here. There would never be a peep out of any rational person is that case. I saw a review of some paper written by an evidence-based chiro and it was top shelf.

The perception of a "bullying" problem is really a problem with factual material. Young earth creationists and Holocaust deniers also complain about "bullying." Do you see a pattern? When you are pushing counterfactual or conjectural points, all you can do is play the hurt card because you don't have evidence or facts on your side.

The problem is not chiro or bracing or PT versus surgery. The problem is faith (in alternative treatments) versus evidence.

hdugger
10-16-2009, 06:07 PM
You might try the Scoliosis Support site - http://www.scoliosis-support.org. Many of us go back and forth between the two. They have a different philosophy about moderation, because their focus is very much on support, and they tend to come down very hard on "non-supportive" posts.


It might be helpful if this site was adjusted to be only about surgery. Since those who are interested in other approaches are, indeed, bullied. Even if the bullying is well-intentioned (if that's not an oxymoron) because there is an effort to "out" inauthentic posters. Another sister site could address the other threads such as research, bracing, waiting and watching so interested parties could explore those w/o the vitriol.

Pooka1
10-16-2009, 06:08 PM
You might try the Scoliosis Support site - http://www.scoliosis-support.org. Many of us go back and forth between the two. They have a different philosophy about moderation, because their focus is very much on support, and they tend to come down very hard on "non-supportive" posts.

That's a very good suggestion. There are very knowledgeable folks there.

Ballet Mom
10-17-2009, 09:13 PM
You might like Fixscoliosis's site:

http://www.fixscoliosis.com/forum/index.php

It is almost non-stop blind leading the blind, though. But that's what some people want so they should have it. It's a shame because Fix was very good here at first. I thought he was an asset.

I wish we had an evidence-based chiropractor posting here. There would never be a peep out of any rational person is that case. I saw a review of some paper written by an evidence-based chiro and it was top shelf.

The perception of a "bullying" problem is really a problem with factual material. Young earth creationists and Holocaust deniers also complain about "bullying." Do you see a pattern? When you are pushing counterfactual or conjectural points, all you can do is play the hurt card because you don't have evidence or facts on your side.

The problem is not chiro or bracing or PT versus surgery. The problem is faith (in alternative treatments) versus evidence.


Surely Linda,

If you are deleting all the other posts, this one can't possibly be considered a keeper....?????? There's a lot more bullying going on here other than "a problem with factual material"!

Dingo
10-19-2009, 09:43 AM
Holocaust deniers also complain about "bullying."

Comparing members of this group to holocaust deniers (http://blackchristiannews.com/news/ahmedijad234567.jpg) is insulting and inflammatory.

LindaRacine, to be perfectly blunt you are the worst moderator of any online community I've ever been a member of. Every group has a Pooka1. It's your job to keep people with those types of personality issues under control, and you don't.

PNUTTRO
10-19-2009, 02:24 PM
It was I that brought this to Linda's attention. Whine all you want about bullies and poor moderating, but I think Linda does a good job of NOT butting in at every difference of opinion and I like it.

Dingo
10-19-2009, 03:39 PM
PNUTTRO

The tone of your post clearly indicates that you are either a holocaust denier or a creationist. Disagree if you like but it would only show how unscientific your line of thinking has become.

just adding to the discussion...

Ballet Mom
10-19-2009, 03:50 PM
The tone of your post clearly indicates that you are either a holocaust denier or a creationist. Disagree if you like but it would only show how unscientific your line of thinking has become.

just adding to the discussion...

Yes, in Pooka's eyes, you're either a creationist, a holocaust denier or you agree with her. Period. :D