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LindaRacine
09-27-2009, 12:04 AM
Most of you already know about ScoliScore, the Axial Biotech test that can help certain populations of kids with scoliosis, determine their risk of curve progression.

But, a new test could soon be on the market. The following paper was presented by Alain Moreau (Universite de Montreal), at the SRS meeting that ended earlier today.


High Circulating Levels of Osteopontin are Associated with Idiopathic Scoliosis Onset and Spinal Deformity Progression

Introduction: We hypothesized that scoliosis development in patients with idiopathic scoliosis and different melatonin-deficient animal models could be induced by a similar mechanism involving a common downstream effector regulated by melatonin. Indeed, the study of the molecular changes occurring in pinealectomized chickens revealed an increased production of OPN, at the mRNA and protein levels, in paraspinal muscles of scoliotic chickens. Therefore, we investigated the involvement of OPN, a multifunctional cyktokine, in IS pathomechanism.

Methods: A group of 320 consecutive patients with IS were compared with 120 healthy control subjects and 82 asymptomatic offspring, born from at least one scoliotic parent, who are considered at risk of developing this disorder. Plasma OPN and soluble CD44 receptor (sCD44) levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Contributions of OPN and CD44 receptors to idiopathic scoliosis were validated using C57BI/6j mice, a well known scoliosis animal model.

Results: Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity, with average values of 743+326ng/mi and 975+389ng/mi for moderated (10-44 degree) and severe (>45 degree) spinal deformities, respectively, when compared to the healthy control subjects. All transgenic C57Bi/6j mice devoid of OPN or CD44 receptor were protected against scoliosis, contrasting with wild-type ones.

Conclusion: Our clinical data and experiments on animals demonstrate that OPN is essential to induce scoliosis formation and curve progression through interactions with CD44 receptors, thus offering a first molecular concept to explain the pathomechanism leading to the asymmetrical growth of the spine in idiopathic scoliosis.

Significance: Plasma OPN and sCD44 values could be useful markers for diagnosis of IS and prognosis of curve progression


In a discussion with Dr. Moreau after his presentation, he mentioned that it's believed that environmental factors could potentially affect the levels of osteopontin in humans.

Watch this site for developments:

http://www.famill.chu-sainte-justine.org/research/unites-rc-description.aspx?id_menu=2564&ID_UNITE_rc=9005

Dingo
09-27-2009, 10:26 AM
Mean plasma OPN (Osteopontin) levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity

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

Role in autoimmune diseases
OPN has been implicated in pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. For instance, researchers found that OPN-R, the thrombin-cleaved form of OPN, was elevated in the rheumatoid arthritis joint16. However, the role of OPN in rheumatoid arthritis is still unclear. One group found that OPN knock-out mice were protected against arthritis. while others were not able to reproduce this observation. OPN has been found to play a role in other autoimmune diseases including autoimmune hepatitis, allergic airway disease, and multiple sclerosis.

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

Research has implicated osteopontin in excessive scar-forming and a gel has been developed to inhibit its effect.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 10:28 AM
The blood test is going to replace the genetic test because it is more useful in almost every way. I believe it's much less expensive as well.

To the best of my knowledge the genetic test only works for adolescent girls. The blood test works for everyone.

The genetic test calculates the risk of curve progression in adolescent girls who already have Scoliosis.

The one time blood test determines if a child (or adult) has the nervous system disorder that leads to Scoliosis.

A second type of blood test is taken twice (or more) per year to determine the risk of curve progression.

These blood tests will be a tremendous addition to scientific research on Scoliosis. Now that scientists have a simple blood test they will be able to determine at what age the nervous system "breaks". This should help them determine what causes Scoliosis.

leahdragonfly
09-27-2009, 10:29 AM
Thanks for the link, Linda. I find the idea of the blood test very promising. Dingo, I think you may be jumping ahead a little, though. For one thing, everyone in the study who was not a control (and thus did not test positive) had at least one parent with scoliosis. So it is not possible to generalize these results to those without a scoliotic parent without further testing.

Also, it doesn't sound to me like the test has predictive ability at this time. It says that the blood test scores correlated with the severity of the disease, so basically the blood test numbers rise as does the cobb angle. At that point you don't really need a blood test, since you can measure the rise in the cobb. So it would be great to find a blood test that gives elevated numbers long before the cobb angle rises--that is where a blood test would have great value. It's encouraging to see research in this direction, though.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 10:47 AM
Genetically removing the osteopontin protein prevents lung diseases (http://www.news-medical.net/news/20090916/Genetically-removing-the-osteopontin-protein-prevents-lung-diseases.aspx)


In the study, researchers induced COPD features in mice and then compared symptoms experienced by mice with osteopontin and those without. The mice without the protein had less inflammation and lung disease. "The lack of osteopontin in the mice prevented the COPD features,"

---

Just a few quick google searches tells me that osteopontin is implicated in numerous diseases such as lung disease, cancer and autoimmune disease which are all closely related to inflammation.

Exercise, low stress, sleep (in a dark room), healthy foods including fish oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_oil) are all known to reduce inflammation in the body.

From what I've read online The Gold Coast Cure (http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Coast-Cure-Makeover-Lifestyle/dp/0757305636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254066686&sr=8-1) is an excellent, scientifically valid book on the subject.

Pooka1
09-27-2009, 11:00 AM
I'd like to see some of these molecular types address themselves to the fact that most T curves are to the right. I mean what about the biochemistry would produce that result? If it was straight biochemistry, wouldn't you expect an equal proportion of right and left T curves?

There is some deep control on this like there is a deep control on why the heart is on the left side of the chest. I think this is the homeobox stuff that controls basic body plans but I don't really know.

Love,
so NOT a biologist

Dingo
09-27-2009, 12:05 PM
Molecule linked to autoimmune disease relapses identified (http://biosingularity.wordpress.com/2006/12/03/molecule-linked-to-autoimmune-disease-relapses-identified/)


“When I saw that all mice with EAE relapsed and died from the disease after about a month of osteopontin administration, I was surprised,” said Hur, the study’s first author who is now a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech. “I got a strong belief that a high level of osteopontin in patients’ blood and tissue is a major contributor of the relapse and progression of the disease.”

concerned dad
09-27-2009, 01:16 PM
Is there a relationship between Osteopontin and Melatonin?

HaleyMom
09-27-2009, 01:22 PM
I find the idea of the blood test very promising. Dingo, I think you may be jumping ahead a little, though. For one thing, everyone in the study who was not a control (and thus did not test positive) had at least one parent with scoliosis. So it is not possible to generalize these results to those without a scoliotic parent without further testing.

Also, it doesn't sound to me like the test has predictive ability at this time. It says that the blood test scores correlated with the severity of the disease, so basically the blood test numbers rise as does the cobb angle. At that point you don't really need a blood test, since you can measure the rise in the cobb. So it would be great to find a blood test that gives elevated numbers long before the cobb angle rises--that is where a blood test would have great value. It's encouraging to see research in this direction, though.

Hi Gayle
The investigators actually filed a patent (WO/2008/119170) on their blood test back in 2008 claiming that their test is in fact predictive. In the patent, they recommend screening starting at age 3. While the patent has more data than described in the abstract Linda posted, the fact that the test is not yet on the market suggests more research is needed.

Dingo may find it interesting that the investigators also suggested in their patent that selenium supplements provide a natural way of reducing OPN levels;)

LindaRacine
09-27-2009, 01:43 PM
Hi Gayle
The investigators actually filed a patent (WO/2008/119170) on their blood test back in 2008 claiming that their test is in fact predictive. In the patent, they recommend screening starting at age 3. While the patent has more data than described in the abstract Linda posted, the fact that the test is not yet on the market suggests more research is needed.

Dingo may find it interesting that the investigators also suggested in their patent that selenium supplements provide a natural way of reducing OPN levels;)
Dr. Moreau made it sound like the test was pretty close to coming to market.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 01:57 PM
HaleyMom

Thanks so much for the Selenium mention! I've been looking all morning for a supplement or activity that might lower Osteopontin levels.

The following link on Selenium is awesome!!!

National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Selenium (http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium.asp)

concerned dad

Is there a relationship between Osteopontin and Melatonin?

I can't tell for sure, I'm still looking. I found one link (http://www.jbc.org/content/274/31/22041.abstract) that (I think) indicated that Melatonin supplements might INCREASE osteopontin levels. The study seemed to indicate that this was a good thing because it meant extra bone growth. However this was from a supplement and I think the test was in a pitri dish, so I don't know how applicable it is. In fact I think they were simply trying to determine which hormones triggered bone growth.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 02:01 PM
LindaRacine


Dr. Moreau made it sound like the test was pretty close to coming to market.

Over the past year I've been in contact with the team in Canada and the blood tests will be available in the USA relatively soon. By relatively soon I mean maybe within a year.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 02:07 PM
Pooka1


If it was straight biochemistry, wouldn't you expect an equal proportion of right and left T curves?

The body is not perfectly symmetrical. The spine bends towards the direction of least resistance which is probably towards the right in most cases.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 02:46 PM
Another great Selenium link

National Institutes of Health: Selenium (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-selenium.html)

BTW I've been looking at Selenium supplements and this stuff appears to be the cheapest stuff on earth.

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Wow, this is really fascinating stuff! How wonderful that there is so much research going on in scoliosis at this time that there are two tests that may end up helping these kids. And to think that
a first molecular concept to explain the pathomechanism leading to the asymmetrical growth of the spine in idiopathic scoliosis has been possibly determined, just wow! :)

Also I found this link: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mksg/exd/2009/00000018/00000009/art00002;jsessionid=1lvgtdgq9rsh2.alice


Through cytokine functions, OPN supports immune responses against Mycobacteria and viruses such as herpes simplex virus. And Dingo just pointed out that chickenpox is a herpes virus. So it could very well be that the higher level of OPN coincides with the immune response to a chickenpox infection (or others), which usually occurs before the age of ten, the time when most scoliosis cases are found. That would be an interesting angle to research, although it looks like they are well into researching all this stuff...wonderful!

And tuberculosis is a mycobacterium, and it was linked to spinal disease also.

Pooka1
09-27-2009, 02:54 PM
Pooka1



The body is not perfectly symmetrical. The spine bends towards the direction of least resistance which is probably towards the right in most cases.

Why would that be?

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 02:55 PM
Dingo,

You might want to research the selenium supplements a little more, but it looks like some studies are showing that it can cause more harm than good.


The trial showed that people who took selenium pills raised their risk of diabetes by more than half, compared to similar people taking placebos.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/07/11/27395.aspx

Pooka1
09-27-2009, 02:56 PM
I wish Pnuttro was here... :(

Dingo
09-27-2009, 03:11 PM
BalletMom


And Dingo just pointed out that chickenpox is a herpes virus. So it could very well be that the higher level of OPN coincides with the immune response to a chickenpox infection (or others), which usually occurs before the age of ten, the time when most scoliosis cases are found. That would be an interesting angle to research, although it looks like they are well into researching all this stuff...wonderful!

That is a brilliant insight and it could easily be true.

Increased levels of OPN coincide with what appears to be dozens of potentially fatal diseases. Something is clearly going wrong and the fact that OPN is tied in with the immune system is a huge clue.

Dingo
09-27-2009, 03:13 PM
Ballet Mom


You might want to research the selenium supplements a little more, but it looks like some studies are showing that it can cause more harm than good.

As for the Diabetes link, EEEEEEEeeeeee.... :eek:

Well no substance in Earth is perfect. I guess I've got a bunch of reading in front of me.

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 03:20 PM
All I can say is... the internet is an amazing thing... :)

Dingo
09-27-2009, 03:23 PM
Here is a rhetorical question.

Assume that Moreau is correct, increased levels of OPN trigger Scoliosis. Unfortunately increased levels of OPN appear to be a driving force behind dozens of other potentically fatal diseases. How would a gene that kills young people 100 different ways spread around the globe? I'm not saying it's impossible but it certainly isn't probable.

For reference here is the Wiki page on Natural Selection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection) :)

And because I never get tired of bringing this up...
According to the following large, recent study if one identical twin has Scoliosis the other has it just 13% of the time. That's not exactly a strong case for genetics.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis in twins: a population-based survey. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17426641)

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 04:20 PM
I just can't get over how fascinating this stuff is. Here's a link to some Multiple Sclerosis news, and there's both an article about OPN and about antibiotics helping MS inflammation! So perhaps, my daughter's antibiotics over the past year could have helped her scoliosis. I am simply astonished.

http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/news/Aug2002/MSQRBreakingNews.html


A critical gene called osteopontin, which is involved in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), has been identified by researchers at Stanford University Medical Center and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). Osteopontin is already known to be a factor in the inflammatory immune response characteristic of MS, but now researchers believe it may be positioned at a number of checkpoints in the progression of the disease. The findings could lead to targeted new therapies for MS in the future.


Antibiotic May Be a Potential Therapy for MS

A common antibiotic, long used to treat infections in humans, may have potential as a treatment for MS, according to a new study published in the medical literature in December 2001. The drug, minocycline, is a member of the tetracycline family of antibiotics and was tested in a condition that mimics MS. Study results portray a potential treatment for MS that could significantly decrease the severity of disease attacks or even block the onset of relapses, hence ameliorating many of the disease’s debilitating symptoms.

Minocycline is already used to treat several different infections, but it is also effective in rheumatoid arthritis––an inflammatory condition. Due to this anti-inflammatory property, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison gave minocycline to rats with a disease that closely resembles the inflammatory process of human MS. Senior researcher Ian D. Duncan, PhD, reports that “animals treated with minocycline did not develop nerve problems, or had a less severe case, than did untreated rats. . . . The results also showed that they could treat the animals successfully either before or after the disease began.”

The hope is that minocycline may be able to significantly decrease the severity of attacks in MS or even block relapses completely. By doing so, it could relieve many of the symptoms, from paralysis to blindness, that plague people with this disease. Studies of minocycline in humans with MS will begin in 2002 at the University of Calgary, Canada. “It is very important that a well-conducted clinical trial is carried out to test whether it is safe and effective in MS,” says Duncan. He adds that minocycline would have advantages over drugs presently used because it is less expensive, can be taken by mouth, and could be used short-term to stop disease progression. (webMD)

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 04:23 PM
I guess my question at this point is, it appears that osteopontin is an indicator for any number of disease processes, so how is it going to identify scoliosis specifically? Are they just going to assume that if it appears in that age group that the OPN levels are due to scoliosis and not some other disease process? Hmmmmm....inquiring minds and all that....

concerned dad
09-27-2009, 04:55 PM
Osteopontin is a gene? (That's what the link BalletMom quoted). Further down in their article they said
Steinman added that in addition to osteopontin, a number of other genes were found that warrant further examination.

I am confused

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 04:59 PM
I saw that too CD, and don't understand the difference between the gene and the cytokene actions either....but it does look like there is a gene for it :eek:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1137584

I'm way out of my territory here!

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 05:12 PM
Here's a New York Times article from some time ago that calls osteopontin a body chemical: http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/10/science/researchers-discover-body-chemical-that-fights-tb-microbe.html

Interesting article.


The method the researchers used to discover the role of osteopontin in tuberculosis is also notable. They compared the thousands of genes operating in cells infected with tuberculosis with those operating in uninfected cells.

It turned out that the only noticeable difference was that the infected cells were producing osteopontin.

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 05:17 PM
Hmmm, and as scoliosis seems to be coming out of the dark ages and is getting some diagnostic tests for it, other diseases are moving into the Star Trek zone:


University of Toronto Researchers Make Cancer-Sensing Microchip
Share | Email | Print | A A A

By Reg Curren

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Researchers at the University of Toronto said they have developed a microchip sensitive enough to more easily determine the type and severity of a patient’s cancer, which may lead to quicker and more effective treatment.

The researchers said the new device can sense the biomarkers that indicate the presence of cancer at the cellular level, generally present only at low levels in biological samples. Analysis can be completed in 30 minutes, using a handheld device such as a Blackberry made by Research In Motion Ltd. Of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

“This could change the way we do screening, we could do a lot more screening in the future,” lead investigator Shana Kelley, a professor in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Medicine, said in an interview.

The chip is about the size of a person’s fingertip, she said. The chip, combined with the handheld device would replace the room of computers now needed to evaluate a sample of cancer biomarkers, Kelley said.

Kelley worked with University of Toronto engineering professor Ted Sargent and a team from Princess Margaret Hospital and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

They reported their development of the device in the Sept. 27 edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601124&sid=aW9yt5bzBvlE

Amazing.

Ballet Mom
09-27-2009, 06:40 PM
Well, this just gets more and more interesting. My daughter was on Solodyn from December to March and Solodyn is Minocycline. And April was when she had the x-ray showing a significant reduction in her compensatory curve. Very interesting. As noted in my earlier comment, it "is already used to treat several different infections, but it is also effective in rheumatoid arthritis––an inflammatory condition"

And here's a quote from Wikipedia:


Current research is examining the possible neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects of minocycline against progression of a group of neurodegenerative disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease, and Parkinsons disease,[11] amongst others neurodegenerative diseases.[12][13][14]

The neuroprotective action of minocycline may include its inhibitory effect on 5-lipoxygenase, [15] an inflammatory enzyme associated with brain aging, and is being studied for use in Alzheimer's disease patients.[16] It also has been used as a "last ditch" treatment for toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients. Minocycline is neuroprotective in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease and has been recently shown to stabilize the course of Huntington's disease in humans over a 2-year period.

As an anti-inflammatory, minocycline inhibits apoptosis (cell death) via attenuation of TNF-alpha, downregulating pro-inflammatory cytokine output. This effect is mediated by a direct action of minocycline on the activated T cells and on microglia, which results in the decreased ability of T cells to contact microglia which impairs cytokine production in T cell-microglia signal transduction .[17] Minocycline also inhibits microglial activation, through blockade of NF-kappa B nuclear translocation.

It is thought that minocycline exerts neuroprotective effects independent of its anti-inflammatory properties.[18]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minocycline

Perhaps the Minocycline she took "downregulated the pro-inflammatory cytokine output" from the osteopontin process....now that sounds like an interesting study! Hello, hello....any researchers around?

Dingo
09-27-2009, 10:42 PM
Ballet Mom


Perhaps the Minocycline she took "downregulated the pro-inflammatory cytokine output" from the osteopontin process

You are posting some great stuff.

Here are 3 possibilities

A) Your daughter's compensatory curve shrank due to random chance
B) Minocycline reduced her levels of OPN and this (combined with growth) reduced her curve
C) Scoliosis is caused by OPN which is triggered by a slow moving infection in her spine. The Minocycline reduced the infection and with it the OPN response that caused her Scoliosis.

Bacterial infections that cause diseases like Leprosy or stomach ulcers can become chronic and last decades. Sometimes antibiotics are curative, other times they control an infection only as long as they are administered. Acne works that way.

There is no obvious reason that Scoliosis couldn't be the result of a chronic, slow moving infection. Many small curves shrink or resolve completely on their own. Perhaps in these cases the infection and with it the OPN response eventually die out or are brought under control by the bodies immune system.

Regardless of what triggers Scoliosis if a curve is reduced OPN must be as well. This assumes that Moreau is correct which I believe he is because he was granted a worldwide patent and very shortly FDA approval.

bas2101
09-28-2009, 07:10 AM
Really interesting stuff. Is there a way to test for Osteopontin other than this particular blood test? Can we get the test from Canada before it is made available here in the US?

Here is an article I found discussing very high levels of Osteopontin in breast milk. Food for thought (so to speak).

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov.monstera.cc.columbia.edu :2048/picrender.fcgi?artid=1809182&blobtype=pdf

christine2
09-28-2009, 08:02 AM
Bas2102

I have spoken to Dr Rivard about this blood test and he is very excited about it. You can probaly contact Dr Rivard directly and he can tell you if he can order the test for you. You will have to go to St Justines for it. It may be a series of tests. I believe the 1st test he needs to test the whole family then just the patient there after. If you E mail him with a phone # he will call you directly. charles-hilaire.rivard@recherche-ste-justine.qc.ca

Dingo
I know I asked you this before but can you clear something up for me. Dr Rivard indicated that because my daughters curve has decreased so much the hormone levels in my daughter will not be elevated. Why is that? I am a bit confused.

Dingo
09-28-2009, 08:51 AM
christine2


I know I asked you this before but can you clear something up for me. Dr Rivard indicated that because my daughters curve has decreased so much the hormone levels in my daughter will not be elevated. Why is that? I am a bit confused.

This is from Moreu's release

Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity

All transgenic C57Bi/6j mice devoid of OPN or CD44 receptor were protected against scoliosis, contrasting with wild-type ones.

If a child's OPN (Osteopontin) levels increase above a natural level she will suffer from Scoliosis. If OPN is blocked she won't get Scoliosis.

If your daughter's curve decreased it is very likely that her OPN levels decreased or went back into the normal zone. Of course there is also the possibility that her reduction was due to random chance.

Dingo
09-28-2009, 09:09 AM
Here are 3 Prostate Cancer/Osteopontin links.
If you google you'll see dozens more.

Increased Expression of Osteopontin Contributes to the Progression of Prostate Cancer (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/66/2/883)

Osteopontin and Interleukin-8 Expression is Independently Associated with Prostate Cancer Recurrence (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/14/13/4111.abstract)

Mechanisms of osteopontin and CD44 as metastatic principles in prostate cancer cells (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1828067)

Guess what?
Prostate cancer has been linked to numerous viruses. Here are some stories on the subject.

Prostate Cancer’s Worst Form Linked to Gene-Influencing Virus (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a4mbqkGaCrqs)

Prostate cancer linked to HPV (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_9_155/ai_54130630/)

This is the end of the line for the Scoliosis gene hypothesis. Scoliosis and dozens of other potentially fatal, environmentally triggered diseases are all driven by high levels of Osteopontin.

christine2
09-28-2009, 09:37 AM
Thanks Dingo

I sometimes wonder if my daughters curve could have corrected itself however I always come back to the thought that her curve went from 33* to an inbrace reading of 11* the same day.

I am now wondering about the chicken pox vaccine, a bike injury causing the curve.

Ballet Mom
09-28-2009, 12:10 PM
My thoughts (for what they're worth):

1. The most wonderful outcome would be if they can use a test, like the osteopontin test for scoliosis (or better ones yet to be developed), to test a kid and, if positive, immediately prescribe a drug such as Minocycline to reduce the cytokine reaction and hopefully stop the development of the scoliosis in its tracks. What a wonderful thing that would be!

2. I notice all these research studies including the one for the Star Trek device are all coming from Canada....what the heck is going on with our researchers? Are we off on the wrong track? Or is the research going on and since it's being done by private industry it is kept very quiet until patents are secure, etc. Who knows? I hope someone here in the US at least tests to see if this Minocycline might help in scoliosis cases...or perhaps its already been done and my daughter's case is just an unrelated fluke.

3. I am rather disappointed to hear that this osteopontin test needs family members for testing also, this makes it a much more unwieldy test than I was thinking of. Maybe that's how they have to get around the fact that osteopontin is a marker in all sorts of disease processes. Maybe they could use only the mother or father who brings the child in for their physicals instead of the whole family. And to start at the age of three? Hopefully they're not planning on using these tests every six months to a year through the kids' whole lives....seems a little unreasonable. It seems maybe it might be very beneficial to those families that seem to have a genetic susceptibility to scoliosis and are already watching for signs of scoliosis, but to do this testing for every child and family in the world? Seems pretty expensive. Perhaps they're just planning on doing the test at specific points like at three and eight, ten and twelve years of age and (fourteen years for boys?), that might be a little more reasonable.

I hope scientists are able to improve on this. It seems to me only the testing process itself could be patented, I don't see how one could patent a biological function related to an immune system reponse to many diseases. So other scientists could certainly improve on that test in the future. Let's hope they do...but it's certainly a good start!

4. Christine, I doubt you need to worry about the chicken pox vaccine. Scoliosis has been around long before the development of the vaccine and I suspect most people that have had that vaccination don't develop scoliosis. I suspect that if scoliosis turns out to be the result of an immune system response to an infection in genetically susceptible people, I would be more concerned with the chickenpox itself. What I DO suspect, is that my daughter may have had the perfect storm of things required to cause scoliosis. Because she had the chickenpox vaccine, she developed a strange form of chickenpox...perhaps different enough that it caused her immune system to react more aggressively than normal. (They were really large pox...I thought they were spider bites when I took her in to the doctor). She already has the genetic susceptibility for acquiring scoliosis due to her superlax joints. And she was infected with this strange form of chickenpox just as she was entering her adolescent growth spurt. And I am just hypothesizing anyway....what has happened to her may have nothing to do with any of it! By the way, my daughter didn't get this variant chickenpox from the vaccine, she had the vaccine years ago when she was little. It just presented in that manner years later when she was infected with actual chickenpox going around...don't know how it ends up changing...but that's why they now want two chickenpox vaccines taken.

5.
This is the end of the line for the Scoliosis gene hypothesis. Evidence is always good to make conclusions such as this. My daughter's case is pure speculation and I suspect that there truly are genetic susceptibilities to scoliosis. Perhaps those susceptibilities are identifiable enough to help pinpoint those kids that are likely to develop scoliosis. i.e. why the Scoliscore test might work also, just from a different angle than the osteopontin test.

Dingo
09-28-2009, 12:41 PM
Ballet Mom


Evidence is always good to make conclusions such as this. My daughter's case is pure speculation and I suspect that there truly are genetic susceptibilities to scoliosis. Perhaps those susceptibilities are identifiable enough to help pinpoint those kids that are likely to develop scoliosis. i.e. why the Scoliscore test might work also, just from a different angle than the osteopontin test.

There almost certainly are genes that make children susceptible to Scoliosis. Susceptability genes may exist for every disease or disorder regardless of the cause. For example leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection that can be easily cured with antibiotics. However scientists know that genes make people susceptible to this bacteria.

Host Gene That Makes People Vulnerable to Leprosy Discovered (http://www.muhc.ca/media/news/item/?item_id=1885)

A gene could just as easily make a child susceptible to a type of pollution, a virus, physical damage, food additive, medicine, stress etc. The possibilities for different types of environmental susceptabilities are limitless. But no matter how you slice it the equation comes back to how the body responds to environmental damage and interference. Without the damage the body works just fine.

The OPN announcement largely destroys the credibility of the Scoliosis gene hypothesis. High levels of OPN are associated with numerous, potentially fatal diseases. This makes it crystal clear that something has gone wrong.

Susceptability genes may or may not be part of the equation.

Your link to the New York Times story (http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/10/science/researchers-discover-body-chemical-that-fights-tb-microbe.html) is very telling. I'd love to ask Dr. Moreau or some other scientist what types of things besides infections cause OPN to shoot into the danger zone.

Ballet Mom
09-28-2009, 12:54 PM
A thought just came to me....perhaps the best thing will be to use both tests together. Use the genetic test early on to determine which kids will be susceptible to scoliosis and then use the osteopontin test to continue testing only those kids genetically susceptible throughout their growth process to see if they actually get scoliosis and need treatment. That makes the osteopontin testing more reasonable when it's only done on a selective group of kids. It's a thought!

Dingo
09-28-2009, 01:09 PM
Ballet Mom

The genetic test doesn't tell parents if their daughter is susceptible to Scoliosis. It tells parents if their daughter who ALREADY HAS Scoliosis is susceptible to curve progression.

A bad Scoliscore wouldn't mean anything to an adolescent girl who doesn't have Scoliosis. It's kind of like saying if a building is built a certain way (a girl with certain genes) it will fall a certain way if it's demolished. If the building isn't being demolished (the girl doesn't have Scoliosis) the building plans (genes) don't really matter. There are probably better analogies but that's what comes to mind.


I am rather disappointed to hear that this osteopontin test needs family members for testing also

I'm going to have to check the release again but I don't think that's right. I think they used family members for this particular study but that's not part of the blood test.

christine2
09-28-2009, 01:18 PM
Dingo

I think you are right, The family needs to get the blood tests in the research phase of the test. I would assume once on the market that will not be the case. However I think (could be wrong) that the test is still in research mode so in order to utilize it now one must be part of the research.

Dingo
09-28-2009, 01:38 PM
A group of 320 consecutive patients with IS were compared with 120 healthy control subjects and 82 asymptomatic offspring, born from at least one scoliotic parent, who are considered at risk of developing this disorder.


Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity, with average values of 743+326ng/mi and 975+389ng/mi for moderated (10-44 degree) and severe (>45 degree) spinal deformities, respectively, when compared to the healthy control subjects.

I think Dr. Moreua used healthy children who had parents with Scoliosis to make his point a little stronger. This risk factor didn't translate into high levels of OPN. Only the group with Scoliosis had high OPN. The higher the OPN, the more severe the curve.

I'm curious to know if high levels of OPN continued well into adulthood or if they slowly shifted back to normal after skeletal maturity.

Ballet Mom
09-28-2009, 01:56 PM
Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity, with average values of 743+326ng/mi and 975+389ng/mi for moderated (10-44 degree) and severe (>45 degree) spinal deformities, respectively, when compared to the healthy control subjects.

I don't know, but this sounds to me that this test also is just showing the magnitude of a scoliotic process, that has already occurred based on the size of the curve magnitude. Where is the predictive value in this?


The genetic test doesn't tell parents if their daughter is susceptible to Scoliosis. It tells parents if their daughter who ALREADY HAS Scoliosis is susceptible to curve progression.

This seems okay to me. There are people in ballet who believe that most people with hyperextended joints in ballet have at least a minor case of scoliosis, and from my experience, it does seem to have some basis in fact. But most of these cases aren't anything to worry about, they can't even be seen, so maybe the Scoliscore and it's predictive ability for curve progression would still be a good way to limit the need for the OPN test i.e. only the kids who have a high degree of progressing could get more in-depth testing during their growth.

I don't even have the information for either of these tests to be able to make a reasonable interpretation of the results and what it might mean, so I'm going to stop there, and hopefully the scientists will be figuring out what all this means. I just truly hope they keep an open mind either way and use whatever methods are best for the kids....including testing the Mynicycline and see if it has a positive effect on kids diagnosed with scoliosos. :)

Dingo
09-28-2009, 02:05 PM
Ballet Mom

I've talked to the team in Canada and I am no longer absolutely certain how the blood test works. However I know that it's not just one test.

The first blood test determines if the child (any age or gender) has the nervous system disorder that leads to Scoliosis. This test is taken once. Depending on the results each child is placed in one of 3 functional groups, low, medium and high risk. I'm nearly positive this test looks for Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction because in Moreau's landmark study (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) children were placed into 3 groups. On page 5 it shows that out of 41 kids 7 were in the high risk group, 20 were in the moderate risk group and 14 were in the mild risk group. These ratios don't represent how a normal population of children with Scoliosis would be broken down because all 41 kids in this sample had their spine's fused.

The next test is given several times per year to determine if curve progression is likely. I had previously thought this test measured Calmodulin because so much interest was in that area. Now I'm thinking this part of the test measures OPN levels. If OPN rises curve progression is imminent, if it falls or goes back to the normal zone the curve should remain stable or maybe even regress. I dunno for sure.

We will know soon enough because these tests are going to be released in the USA sooner rather than later. :)

Ballet Mom
09-28-2009, 02:12 PM
The next test is given several times per year to determine if curve progression is likely.

Is this a blood test? Good luck getting that several times a year from kids who aren't sick...especially young ones. :( And to have to continue throughout their growth years? Yikes! And having that test done several times a year from when they're three years old? It seems like the cost would be prohibitive. But, what do I know? But hey, good luck to them.

PNUTTRO
09-28-2009, 02:22 PM
According to this paper (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxyhost.library.tmc.edu/pubmed/17349020?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum), increased melatonin, increases osteopontin, and suppresses cAMP.

Melatonin is higher in younger animals, and causes differentiation and calcification of osteoblasts.

All it means is that bone cells are growing.

So, if the melatonin (or osteopontin, or cAMP) is high, maybe curve progression is simply a consequence of a fast rate of bone growth.

Dingo
09-28-2009, 02:54 PM
PNUTTRO


increased melatonin, increases osteopontin, and suppresses cAMP.

EEEEeeeee... that makes things a bit more complicated. Melatonin suppresses cAMP which in theory should be a good thing. Once again page 5 on this chart (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) shows that children with Scoliosis don't inhibit cAMP properly in response to Melatonin.

I can't get to the study you listed. Does the study suggest that these hormones merely trigger and work together or are they suggesting that something like a Melatonin supplement would cause Osteopontin to shoot up?

For example I can take all the Vitamin B I want and anything over a normal level gets flushed. But if I ate iron supplements like candy my skin would turn orange.

Pooka1
09-28-2009, 03:21 PM
EEEEeeeee... that makes things a bit more complicated.

A bit? A BIT???

This stuff is more intrinsically complex than landing a man safely on the moon and returning him safely to earth.

There is a reason why there are long-standing, unsolved medical dilemmas. And it's not for lack of a bunch of lay folks discussing it on a scoliosis forum. (I apologize for the preceding remark and for the fact it is a penetrating glimpse into the obvious.)

Half the battle is just getting to point where you begin to form some nascent sense of just how complex this stuff is (or it would have been solved by now). I don't think most of the players here have arrived at that point. Pnuttro obviously has as this is her field. And that's about it. I commend her restraint.

Dingo
09-28-2009, 03:51 PM
PNUTTRO


So, if the melatonin (or osteopontin, or cAMP) is high, maybe curve progression is simply a consequence of a fast rate of bone growth.

Height certainly does appear to be a risk factor for Scoliosis. I thought about it but I don't think it could be the cause. According to the study I just posted a couple of times a few messages back (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) all children with Scoliosis have Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction.

So for whatever reason something has gone wrong and this ultimately leads to an increase in OPN.

PNUTTRO
09-28-2009, 03:57 PM
Melatonin secretion is regulated by the activity of allylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase (AA-NAT) which is usually but not always [38], considered the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthetic pathway of melatonin [39, 40]. Recent studies suggest that estrogen suppresses the synthesis of AA-NAT protein [41, 42]. It is therefore assumed that melatonin secretion decreases in response to an increase in estrogen levels in adolescent women, as their markedly increased estrogen suppresses the synthesis of melatonin via AA-NAT activity. Judging from the results of recent studies which show that melatonin is a physiological factor that promotes bone formation [22, 26], there is a possibility that expression of the melatonin receptor in osteoblasts is upregulated to compensate for a decrease in melatonin action caused by the abrupt increase in estrogen levels occurring in adolescent women.

Ballet Mom
09-28-2009, 03:59 PM
Height certainly does appear to be a risk factor for Scoliosis.

Probably just because they have a longer time to grow and develop a more severe curve. I have a friend who's daughter is in ballet and has just been officially diagnosed with scoliosis and she's under five feet tall......but she does have hyperextended joints! Luckily, she probably won't grow much more because her mom and dad are both quite short.

PNUTTRO
09-28-2009, 04:03 PM
Probably just because they have a longer time to grow and develop a more severe curve. I have a friend who's daughter is in ballet and has just been officially diagnosed with scoliosis and she's under five feet tall......but she does have hyperextended joints! Luckily, she probably won't grow much more because her mom and dad are both quite short.

I'm talking about a rate of growth, not a period of time.

PNUTTRO
09-28-2009, 04:08 PM
Fig. 4. (A) Intracellular cAMP production induced by forskolin
was suppressed by melatonin in a dose-dependent manner (**:
p < 0.01). (B) The suppressive effect of melatonin was blocked by
treatment with luzindole or PTX (a: p < 0.01 vs 100 lM melatonin,
b: p < 0.01 vs 200 lM melatonin). Values are mean ± SE
from two independent experiments performed in triplicate.

Ballet Mom
09-28-2009, 04:08 PM
I'm talking about a rate of growth, not a period of time.

Sorry, PNUTTRO, I was responding to Dingo's comment. I wasn't even aware you were posting.



Heh, never mind....I realize he was responding to your comment....

CAmomof2
09-28-2009, 05:01 PM
Our daughter is involved in this study at Ste. Justine.
The 1st time the parents need to give a saliva sample and our daughter had blood taken. Only she will have blood taken each time she goes for x-rays, every 6 months or so.
This study may or may not benefit her, but it could help children in the future... who knows, maybe even our grandchildren someday!!

Dingo
09-28-2009, 05:06 PM
Osteopontin is triggered by and protects the body from bacterial infection.

Osteopontin expression correlates with clinical outcome in patients with mycobacterial infection. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10880373)


We conclude that osteopontin expression correlates with an effective immune and inflammatory response when humans are challenged by a mycobacterial infection and that osteopontin contributes to human resistance against mycobacteria.

Increased expression of osteopontin in the brain with scrapie infection (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6SYR-4J2CNF2-S&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1027420131&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=be55064f5abe0d507dd6d828850c0300)


Immunohistochemically, OPN was intensely immunostained in neurons of the midbrain at the time of scrapie infection initiation.

Osteopontin Regulates Infection-stimulated Periapical Bone Loss (http://iadr.confex.com/iadr/2008Toronto/techprogram/abstract_109005.htm)


these results are consistent with a model in which OPN is expressed at the site of infection, and acts to facilitate migration of neutrophils and macrophages out of the circulation into the area of infection. In the absence of OPN, reduced neutrophil or macrophage numbers and/or function may result in reduced bacterial killing. The increased bacterial load ultimately results in an increased inflammatory response and increased bone loss.

Attenuated Host Resistance against Mycobacterium bovis BCG Infection in Mice Lacking Osteopontin (http://iai.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/67/8/4223)


When infected with Mycobacterium bovis BCG, mice lacking a functional OPN gene had more severe infections characterized by heavier bacterial loads and a delayed clearance of the bacteria.

PNUTTRO
09-29-2009, 09:01 AM
PNUTTRO



Height certainly does appear to be a risk factor for Scoliosis. I thought about it but I don't think it could be the cause. According to the study I just posted a couple of times a few messages back (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf) all children with Scoliosis have Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction.

So for whatever reason something has gone wrong and this ultimately leads to an increase in OPN.

So if you have melatonin signaling dysfunction, how will more melatonin in your diet help?

Dingo
09-29-2009, 04:38 PM
PNUTTRO

Increased Melatonin cannot repair Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction.

However there is some non-definitive evidence that low Melatonin correlates with curve progression (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8637). Melatonin is an antioxidant (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=melatonin+antioxidant&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g1) and has anti-inflammatory (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ei=i3zCSpOLB4bEsQPF59zuAg&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=melatonin+anti+inflammatory&spell=1) properties. If it's helpful this might be why.

Personally I would not give my child Melatonin supplements unless the science was definitive. It's free to sleep in a dark room (http://www.bodyecology.com/07/01/11/nightlights_recommendations_sleep_well.php) and that simple behavior probably boosts melatonin production to an optimal, natural level.

PNUTTRO
09-29-2009, 05:40 PM
Personally I would not give my child Melatonin supplements unless the science was definitive. It's free to sleep in a dark room and that simple behavior probably boosts melatonin production to an optimal, natural level.

While I agree that its a good idea for good overall health, there is an inherent contradiction when you say that one needs to boost melatonin levels (by diet or dark rooms) when


all children with Scoliosis have Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction.

p

Dingo
09-29-2009, 06:24 PM
PNUTTRO

Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction doesn't mean that kids don't produce Melatonin.

One of Melatonin's jobs is to shut down the molecule cAMP. For whatever reason children with Scoliosis produce Melatonin but it doesn't do it's job and flush out the cAMP in bones.

I am guessing that this buildup of cAMP produces inflammation which elevates OPN. Melatonin doesn't do it's job and flush out cAMP but perhaps since it has anti-inflammatory properties this helps keep OPN levels down.

I dunno, I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Dingo
09-29-2009, 06:53 PM
Osteopontin is a huge, red flag for inflammation.

Osteopontin: A Multifunctional Molecule Regulating Chronic Inflammation and Vascular Disease (http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/27/11/2302)


Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional molecule highly expressed in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and it is specifically localized in and around inflammatory cells. OPN is a secreted adhesive molecule, and it is thought to aid in the recruitment of monocytes-macrophages and to regulate cytokine production in macrophages, dendritic cells, and T-cells. OPN has been classified as T-helper 1 cytokine and thus believed to exacerbate inflammation in several chronic inflammatory diseases, including atherosclerosis. Besides proinflammatory functions, physiologically OPN is a potent inhibitor of mineralization, it prevents ectopic calcium deposits and is a potent inducible inhibitor of vascular calcification. Clinically, OPN plasma levels have been found associated with various inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular burden. It is thus imperative to dissect the OPN proinflammatory and anticalcific functions.

Fish oil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_oil) is an effective, well documented anti-inflammatory. A few months after my son was diagnosed with Scoliosis I started giving him pharmeceutical grade fish oil supplements on the off chance that inflammation played a role. I'll never know for sure but I think that one might have paid off big time.

Hooray fish oil! :)

PNUTTRO
09-29-2009, 07:16 PM
PNUTTRO

Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction doesn't mean that kids don't produce Melatonin.

One of Melatonin's jobs is to shut down the molecule cAMP. For whatever reason children with Scoliosis produce Melatonin but it doesn't do it's job and flush out the cAMP in bones.

Exactly my point. If you can produce melatonin, but not respond to it properly, then no amount of darkness or other method to increase melatonin will make your cells react differently.

Dingo
09-29-2009, 07:26 PM
PNUTTRO


Exactly my point. If you can produce melatonin, but not respond to it properly, then no amount of darkness or other method to increase melatonin will make your cells react differently.

Melatonin does a lot more than flush out cAMP molecules. Every other part of the system is working properly.

If Melatonin wasn't working at all I think that might turn fatal at some point.

Dingo
09-29-2009, 08:41 PM
METHOD OF DETERMINING RISK OF SCOLIOSIS (http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008119170&IA=CA2008000595&DISPLAY=DESC)

Bracing (if it's effective) and surgery lower OPN levels. If OPN levels don't drop a brace will be ineffective. GOLD! :)

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for assessing the efficacy of a brace on a subject having a scoliosis comprising measuring osteopontin (OPN) expression in a sample from the subject prior to and at least once after bracing the subject, wherein an increase in the OPN expression after as compared to prior to bracing the subject is indicative that the brace is ineffective.

[0015] In a specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after the bracing is performed at least one month after the bracing. In another specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least 2 months after the bracing. In another specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least three months after the bracing. In another specific embodiment, the determining the OPN expression after bracing the subject is performed at least six months after the bracing.

[00162] A distribution of 12 AIS patients was also performed across the predefined cut-off zones pre-operation and post-operation. Figure 15 shows 92% of the surgically treated patients had pre-operation OPN levels in the red-zone (>800ng/mL of plasma OPN level), while the remaining 8% were in the yellow zone (700-800ng/mL). No patients were in the green zone representing plasma OPN levels <700 ng/mL. This also shows a strong correlation between high OPN concentrations and the progression of scoliotic curves.

[00163] Panel B of Figure 15 show that red zone patients who were treated surgically experienced a decline in OPN concentrations in the blood. 75% of the surgically treated patients fell into the green and yellow zones (800 ng/mL or less).

Dingo
09-29-2009, 08:53 PM
Dr. Moreu is very direct that Selenium is low in children with AIS and supplements may be an effective treatment. I copied in all of the relevant paragraphs. There were several others that mentioned Selenium but they primarily talked about ways to administer it.

[0024] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of preventing or reducing scoliosis comprising administering to a subject having scoliosis a therapeutically effective amount of an osteopontin inhibitor (OPN) or a selenium rich diet, whereby scoliosis is thereby prevented or treated.

[00114] Any amount of a pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical and/or dietary supplement compositions can be administered to a subject. The dosages will depend on many factors including the mode of administration. Typically, the amount of anti-scoliosis composition (e.g. osteopontin inhibitor or selenium compound) contained within a single dose will be an amount that effectively prevents, delays or reduces scoliosis without inducing significant toxicity "therapeutically effective amount".

---

EXAMPLE 14 Comparison of selenium levels in AIS patients vs. healthy subjects

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

[00167] Plasma selenium concentration was thus measured in pediatric populations (AIS vs. healthy controls) to determine whether or not low selenium levels correlate with higher OPN concentrations in AIS. Plasma selenium concentrations were determined by a fluorometric method using 2,3-diaminonaphthalene (DAN) (46, 47). Results presented in Figures 18 and 19 show a correlation between high OPN levels and low selenium levels in scoliotic and asymptomatic at risk children.

Dingo
09-29-2009, 09:08 PM
Brazil Nuts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_nut) are the richest, natural source of Selenium available.

USAWEEKEND: Nuts (http://www.usaweekend.com/food/carper_archive/941204eat_smart.html)


Brazil nuts, a holiday favorite, are the food richest in selenium, a potent antioxidant linked to low rates of cancer and heart disease. If you ate only one Brazil nut a day, you would never be deficient in selenium, says Donald J. Lisk, at Cornell University. Gobbling more than a half-dozen Brazil nuts every day could add up to nausea-causing selenium toxicity, he cautions.

Nut & Seed chart (http://www.healthalternatives2000.com/nut-seed-nutrition-chart.html)


1 ounce of brazil nuts (6 nuts) contain 543.5mcg of Selenium

Brazil nuts boost health (http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20082703-17102-2.html)


One Brazil nut a day is enough to raise the average New Zealander's selenium intake to internationally recommended levels and eating two could lead to added health benefits, according to University of Otago researchers.

Seeking selenium? Try Brazil nuts: study finds this rich food source of the antioxidant mineral is superior to supplements.(PREVENTION) (http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-178079601/seeking-selenium-try-brazil.html)


A study in the February issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that Brazil nuts are better at raising blood levels of this essential trace mineral than supplements. In the study, one group consumed two Brazil nuts daily (about 100 micrograms, or mcg, of selenium); a second group took 100 mcg of a selenium supplement; and a third group received a placebo for 12 weeks. Those who ate Brazil nuts had substantially higher blood concentrations of selenium.

"The supplement raised [serum selenium] levels, but not as much as the nuts," says Kathy Isoldi, MS, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian at Weill Cornell Medical College. "It is believed that the food source offers a more bioavailable form of selenium."

National Institues of Health: Selenium (http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/selenium.asp)

Recommended Daily Allowance Of Selenium
The RDA recommends the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in each age and gender group.
1 - 3 years: 20mcg
4 - 8 years: 30mcg
9 - 13 years: 40mcg
14 - adult: 55mcg

Tolerable Daily Upper Intake Of Selenium
The Upper Limit is the maximum daily intake unlikely to result in adverse health effects.
0 - 6 months: 45mcg
7 - 12 months: 60mcg
1 - 3 years: 90mcg
4 - 8 years: 150mcg
9 - 13 years: 280mcg
14 - adult: 400mcg

Dingo
09-29-2009, 10:58 PM
[0065] Mean plasma OPN concentration in patients with AIS were significantly higher (p-value <0.001) in patients with AIS having a Cobb's angle >45° (965 ± 414 nanograms per milliliter) than that in healthy controls (570 ± 156 nanograms per milliliter) and than that in AIS patients with a Cobb's angle <45° (799 ± 284 nanograms per milliliter). Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of OPN for AIS was 84.4 percent and 90.6 percent respectively (cut-off value > 800 nanograms per milliliter). Subgroup analysis showed that 47.9 percent of children at risk had OPN values higher than 800 nanograms per milliliter as opposed to only 8.6 percent for the controls indicating that elevated plasma OPN levels precede scoliosis formation. There were no significant differences in mean plasma sCD44 levels and HA levels between all groups.

The "at risk" group consisted of children without Scoliosis who had 1 parent with Scoliosis. Approximately 50% of these children had dangerously high levels of OPN. If OPN was only implicated in Scoliosis it wouldn't be as stunning. It seems implausible to me that half of the offspring produced by parents with Scoliosis would be saddled by heredity with a potentially fatal health time-bomb. I think this discovery might provide evidence as to what the environmental half of Scoliosis is.

This story comes to mind.
LA Times: 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.

Pooka1
09-30-2009, 05:39 AM
Maybe they have a genetic predisposition to being infected with that virus whereas normal controls don't get infected or get over it.

It would be like the opposite situation where a small group of HIV patients overcome the infection, perhaps due to some genetic control. In the rats' case, they only get the infection and consequences due to having a different genetic make-up.

If most/all the rats of this type become diabetic at around 2 months then the virus must be common in the environment. If true, incidence of diabetes in this rat strain is under genetic control. Maybe people are the same way. My brother became diabetic and the rest of us did not, all living in the same environment.

Dingo
09-30-2009, 07:55 AM
Pooka1

It certainly could work that way. I'm really curious to see how this all turns out over the next few years.

I hope someone interviews Dr. Moreau and he offers an explanation for the high OPN levels in kids with and without Scoliosis. This is where a twin study would really be useful.

Ballet Mom
09-30-2009, 08:07 AM
It seems implausible to me that half of the offspring produced by people with Scoliosis would be saddled by heredity with a potentially fatal health time-bomb.

I agree, I think it probably shows that half the kids have already been infected with a common childhood illness, such as chickenpox, that causes an exagerated immune response in those kids with the genetic predisposition. And, who knows, maybe the body "knows" that these kids with the lax ligaments are going to have problems with this viral antagonist in their bodies and so the immune system goes into overdrive trying to get rid of it before the damage is done and continues to react even more strongly as the damage (the scoliosis) is being done to it.

Like your very interesting article about the rats you posted, I think this theory definitely deserves some research into it. I think it is plausible. And perhaps just to see if Solodyn, which is an extended release version of minocycline, possibly has an effect on controlling the immune response, perhaps an interested surgeon could prescribe this acne drug to some willing patients and see if it has an immediate effect on them. It's not that dangerous a drug after all. And then if it works, a brace could possibly be used to redirect the growth after the abnormal immune response is done and straighten out the curve a bit? Who knows...I think it's a fascinating theory to be tested.

Or maybe the scoliosis starts slowly forming immediately, and so the immune response starts immediately.....which would, of course, be the ideal time to treat it. So possibly, kids could have had that Scoliscore test taken and then when they get chicken pox, and if they have a high probability of progressing, they could be immediately prescribed a drug afterwards, like Solodyn,that stops the formation of the curve before it even gets started! Wouldn't that be awesome! It's so exciting to think about. (And that way, it would only require one blood draw for the Scoliscore DNA test, which is MUCH more plausible in kids....or anyone else for that matter. I know I would have never been able to get my kids to submit to the blood draws such as that being planned with the Canadian group and (even if I could, I probably wouldn't have done it because of the stress and duress it would have caused them).....and listening to kids who ARE getting their blood drawn, it's not a very fun experience for any of them....or their parent, or the tech drawing the blood!

Ballet Mom
09-30-2009, 08:58 AM
Actually, now that I think about it, I suppose the Scoliscore test could possibly be done with a saliva or other sample instead of a blood draw? If so, so much the better! :)

I did just find out that the Scoliscore test is a saliva based test, which is a huge bonus in my book!

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20090924/Axial-Biotechs-SCOLISCORE-AIS-Prognostic-Test-now-available-in-the-US.aspx

CAmomof2
10-01-2009, 06:52 PM
........ because of the stress and duress it would have caused them).....and listening to kids who ARE getting their blood drawn, it's not a very fun experience for any of them....or their parent, or the tech drawing the blood!

Our daughter didn't mind it at all - in fact she asked the nurse when she was going to take the blood and it was already done!!! ...So not stressful in all situations!!