PDA

View Full Version : Epiphany



concerned dad
11-03-2009, 06:35 PM
Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I spent a few hours driving alone today. As is often the case, my mind was wandering and I got to thinking about the recent forum member, Snow, and what possible advice one could offer her.
I’m going though in my head the pro’s and cons of early intervention and weighing the whole bracing discussion/debate and how it might apply to her particular circumstances.
My mind drifts towards a small plaque my dad used to have on his night stand. The relevance of the words on the plaque came to me as somewhat of an epiphany.



God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

If ever there was a prayer (or prose, if you will Sharon) that sums up the feelings and desires of a parent of a child with scoliosis, this is it. At least for me anyway.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anguished by our decision to not brace. Serenity on the issue is elusive for me. Similarly, for some it may take courage to brace in the face of actual or perceived uncertainty of the results (regardless of ones view of the issue, we can agree that there are no guarantees).

I make no claim that I possess the “wisdom to know the difference”.

There is a moral here. (And I think it goes deeper than “you don’t want to be driving behind CD when his mind starts to wander”)

mamandcrm
11-03-2009, 06:53 PM
Always been one of my personal favorites as serene is not my strong suit...

concerned dad
11-03-2009, 07:00 PM
I just read the conflict on the other thread.
Made me think of this Seinfeld Episode (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5513mXmQbw4)

Pooka1
11-03-2009, 07:57 PM
That's a good post. This is a tough game. The stakes are high. It's easy to have your mind blown.

I'm not surprised Snow figured out right away you were part of the solution around here, assuming there is a solution of course. There is no guarantee. Life is very unfair.

While we are being philosophical, I am reminded of something that Christopher Hitchens says when asked if people have free will. He responds that yes they have free will... they have no choice but to have free will. :D

Dig on that for a while. :)

Dingo
11-04-2009, 02:41 PM
concerned dad

Speaking of epiphanies my brain finally connected just how similar Scoliosis was to other chronic illnesses.

If somebody asked me what they should do about their allergies, asthma, arthritis, autoimmune disease or even many types of cancer I'd tell them that research strongly suggests that diet and exercise can help. So why should anyone predict that Scoliosis would be different? In fact mainstream scientists have produced strong evidence that diet and exercise can help. It isn't that I didn't already know this but my brain didn't register how simple the concept was.

Diet

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


[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.


[00166] Selenium concentration was reported to be significantly decreased in plasma of AIS patients (42). Selenium and more specifically Se-methylselenocystein (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=methylselenocystein&aq=f&oq=&aqi=), an organoselenium naturally occurring in diet, are used to prevent metastasis in breast cancer as chemopreventive therapy by targeting OPN transcription (43-45).

Inflammation is a significant factor in almost all chronic illness. The high levels of Osteopontin found in children with Scoliosis is a giant, red flag that inflammation could be the culprit. Although nobody knows for sure I wouldn't bet against taking Fish oil or sleeping in a dark room to maximize Melatonin production (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8637). Both of these compounds are anti-inflammatory.

Exercise

Thread: Torso Rotation Strength Training for Scoliosis (http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showthread.php?t=8976)


16 of the 20 patients demonstrated curve reduction, and although some fluctuation occured, none of the remaining 4 patients had a persistent increase in curve. No patient required surgery or bracing.

Study: Relation between adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and morphologic somatotypes. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9383860)


Subjects with progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis are significantly less mesomorphic than control girls. This observation may be of value as a predictive factor for early identification of subjects with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at greater risk of progression.

This and other evidence suggests that muscle mass probably protects children from curve progression.

So there you have it, diet and exercise. It's simple and it's the best thing we've got until technology takes another leap forward.

concerned dad
11-04-2009, 05:46 PM
As usual, another well documented post by my friend Dingo.

I particularly like how you provide links to your sources so folks can read for themselves and make up their own mind.

Epiphany is a pretty cool word, no?

Dingo
11-04-2009, 06:53 PM
Thanks CD.

Yeah, I think I like the word epiphany. :)

I should have added that not only is Osteopontin a marker for inflammation (http://www.jci.org/articles/view/12980/version/1#SEC3) but Selenium is a well known anti-inflammatory (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19418416).

If a specific type of inflammation is the cause of Scoliosis it won't be a surprise to scientists. Polio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poliomyelitis) triggered massive inflammation in the spine's of some unlucky children and Scoliosis was a common side effect.

concerned dad
11-04-2009, 07:06 PM
if you get a chance check out the newest paper (http://www.scoliosisjournal.com/content/4/1/24)in Scoliosis Journal.
My eyes glazed over reading the abstract. However, when I opened up the full (still provisional) paper they started talking about melatonin. Unfortunately, by then I was pretty much wiped. Seriously, check it out. But skip the abstract at first.

tonibunny
11-04-2009, 07:26 PM
Coincidentally this is a really fascinating article to me CD, thanks for posting it! It touches in the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and Infantile Idiopathic Scoliosis, which I'm finding very interesting at the moment due to being recently diagnosed with an autonomic disorder (although this is also related to a probable connective tissue disorder) and having had severe progressive IIS (again, this could well be down to the CTD). It even mentions non-shivering thermogenisis!

I can't claim to be a scientist but I'm hoping I can wrap my brain around it enough to make sense of it :D

(Nice to see it's some UK-based research as well - I recognise several of those author names as chaps who have treated some of my friends!)

Dingo
11-04-2009, 07:40 PM
Thanks for the heads up.

WOW! This is some tough reading.

I'm looking at the part where they discuss Moreau's recent patent.


Moreau et al [19,20] found all transgenic melatonin-deficient C57Bl/6J mice [150] devoid of OPN or CD44 receptor were protected against scoliosis, contrasting with wildtype ones. May this be, not because OPN is essential for scoliosis pathogenesis, but because OPN deficiency reduces stress reactions in mice [260]? For, in mice, circulating OPN plays a significant role in the body’s reaction to stress by regulating hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) [260] modulated by leptin which activates the JAK/STAT pathway. Stressors cause less up-regulation of the stress hormone corticosterone in OPN-deficient mice [260]. This may be tested in the model used for mice: (1) rendered bipedal at 3 weeks of age, and (2) kept in tall cages to make them reach up increasingly for food and water [150]. The developmental stress hypothesis [261], if confirmed, suggests that OPN deficiency through reduced corticosterone up-regulation causes less stress-reaction damage to the neural development of posture and so protects against the scoliosis. If so, these transgenic mice findings [19,20] may not be relevant to AIS pathogenesis.

My sense from this is that Moreau owns the theory to disprove.

The theory that these scientists have is as of yet untested and it may have been made obsolete by Moreau's recent release.

Here is some text from page 68.


(15) Some methods for testing the theory’s hypotheses are outlined.

(16) The putative hypothalamic dysfunction is thought to have an evolutionary origin in hominid fat deposition which in more than 3 million years, may have provided energy needed sequentially for each of:
• trunk width growth at the pelvis (mainly sacral alae), (Figures 5 and 12);
• trunk width growth of upper thorax and shoulders (Figures 10 and 11); and
• brain growth with pelvic depth increase (Figure 12).
We postulate that white adipose tissue still provides for skeletal growth processes in fetal and post-natal normal human development [299-302].

These guys have a theory that 3 million years ago hominids evolved a hypothalamic dysfunction that leads to Scoliosis in children? 3 million years and natural selection didn't correct or at least eliminate it?!? If that trait reduced fitness by even 1/1000th it would be long gone before 3 million years. How many different environments ranging from Ice Ages to faminines did this thing have to survive through?

...mathematically impossible bunk.

Dingo
11-04-2009, 07:55 PM
tonibunny


due to being recently diagnosed with an autonomic disorder

I'm not sure if OPN levels drop back to normal when a child is done growing but in any case high OPN (according to Moreau's patent) is not only the cause of Scoliosis but a significant risk factor in dozens of other potentially fatal diseases.

There is every reason to suspect that not only did high OPN trigger your scoliosis but it set you up for additional health problems down the road. This is yet another reason that for most people there is virtually no chance that Scoliosis is triggered by heredity. I am not aware of any gene that common and that deadly to young people in so many different ways.

tonibunny
11-04-2009, 08:04 PM
tonibunny



I'm not sure if OPN levels drop back to normal when a child is done growing but in any case high OPN (according to Moreau's patent) is not only the cause of Scoliosis but a significant risk factor in dozens of other potentially fatal diseases.

There is every reason to suspect that not only did high OPN trigger your scoliosis but it set you up for additional health problems down the road.

This is yet another reason that for most people there is virtually no chance that Scoliosis is triggered by heredity. It takes extremely special circumstances for a disease gene to remain common over 1000's of generations.


I must look into this further! It's a shame you're not in the shame country as me, I'd love to get you and a bunch of other interested individuals around a table and have a damn good discussion of all the current theories and ideas regarding scoliosis.

Dingo
11-04-2009, 08:12 PM
tonibunny

I believe Parkinson's is an autonomic disorder and guess what....

Osteopontin is elevated in Parkinson’s disease and its absence leads to reduced neurodegeneration in the MPTP model (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WNK-4MNHY03-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1078571002&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=f2767161b11e22c630de41d07bb9d63e)

The Scoliosis gene theory was silly to begin with. But a Scoliosis/Cancer/Autoimmune/Parkinson's gene in young people is.... well... insert your own set of adjectives. :eek:

concerned dad
11-04-2009, 08:22 PM
These guys have a theory that 3 million years ago hominids evolved a hypothalamic dysfunction that leads to Scoliosis in children? 3 million years and natural selection didn't correct or at least eliminate it?!? If that trait reduced fitness by even 1/1000th it would be long gone before 3 million years. How many different environments ranging from Ice Ages to faminines did this thing have to survive through?

...mathematically impossible bunk.

Maybe not so fast there to dismiss their theory, at least on those grounds (By the way, isnt it nice to see a theory advanced along with a proposed way to test it's validity)

Anyway, back to the mathematical impossibility aspect. I dont think it is as simple as you made the case sound. Some traits that reduce fitness may have associated aspects that increase survival/fitness and or fecundity. There's an evolutionary term that describes this but it escapes me right now.

Dingo
11-04-2009, 09:37 PM
Concerned Dad


Anyway, back to the mathematical impossibility aspect. I dont think it is as simple as you made the case sound. Some traits that reduce fitness may have associated aspects that increase survival/fitness and or fecundity. There's an evolutionary term that describes this but it escapes me right now.

You are correct, genes can cut both ways. A gene that makes children highly intelligent but physically weak could survive because a particular environment might favor brains. However a gene that makes children highly intelligent but triggers leukemia probably won't last long because no environment favors Leukemia. A gene that triggered Scoliosis and Leukemia and a dozen other disorders has no mathematical chance to spread across the globe. If a gene like that had any chance of survival it would be in a very unique, probably isolated environment. For example Sickle cell is common in Africa but it doesn't exist outside of the Malaria belt. That's the only way that common, genetic diseases that impact young people can survive. Without a special environmental challenge these genes become rare (or extinct) in short order. The math is unforgiving.

There is a little girl on the Yahoo board who has both Scoliosis and Leukemia. Until the OPN discovery I never put the two together. Guess what? High levels of Osteopontin are also implicated in Leukemia and other cancers.

Osteopontin: a bridge between bone and blood (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118608000/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0)


The production of mature blood cells within the bone marrow (BM) is attributed to a pool of haemopoietic stem cells (HSC). It is now evident that HSC reside preferentially at the endosteal region within the BM where bone-lining osteoblasts are a key cellular component of the HSC niche that directly regulates HSC fate. Osteoblasts synthesise proteins that stimulate and inhibit HSC proliferation. In addition to angiopoietin 1 (Ang-1), osteoblasts synthesise and express the highly acidic glycoprotein, osteopontin (Opn), which, like Ang-1, acts as a potent constraining factor on HSC proliferation. Overexpression of Opn is a feature of haemopoietic malignancies, such as multiple myeloma and chronic myeloid leukaemia, although its exact role in the aetiology and progression of these diseases remains unclear. Through osteoblasts and their cell surface and expressed proteins including Opn, bone is able to regulate the tissue that resides within it. In doing so, Opn can be considered a bridge between bone and blood.

Pick a common, lethal disease and google it's name with Osteopontin. Chances are good you'll find a connection. I'm not saying I have the answer but something is definitely going wrong in these kids bodies. Kids aren't commonly programmed to become fatally ill.

Ballet Mom
11-05-2009, 12:44 AM
Pick a common, lethal disease and google it's name with Osteopontin. Chances are good you'll find a connection. I'm not saying I have the answer but something is definitely going wrong in these kids bodies. Kids aren't commonly programmed to become fatally ill.

I would think there would be a connection of osteopontin to all of these diseases, because as I recall when I was looking into it, osteopontin was a normal part of the body's immune systems response....for what it's worth.

Dingo
11-05-2009, 07:51 AM
Ballet Mom

Osteopontin levels are probably something like blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too low you'll pass out but if it's high it slowly or even rapidly destroys your internal organs.

Maybe if Osteopontin levels are low the body will be overrun with infection. On the flipside high Osteopontin is associated with a myriad of fatal diseases.

hdugger
11-05-2009, 09:41 AM
It's related as in it causes them? Or it's related as in it shows up at the same time? Depression is also related to most major illnesses, but presumably as a result rather then a cause.

Just trying to figure out the relationship.


Ballet Mom

Osteopontin levels are probably something like blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too low you'll pass out but if it's high it slowly or even rapidly destroys your internal organs.

Maybe if Osteopontin levels are low the body will be overrun with infection. On the flipside high Osteopontin is associated with a myriad of fatal diseases.

Dingo
11-05-2009, 01:27 PM
Hdugger

It's probably impossible to generalize about Osteopontin and the dozens of diseases it's associated with. However in the case of Scoliosis Dr. Moreau is very clear. Blocking OPN stops Scoliosis 100% of the time in mice. OPN is part of the human immune system so for obvious reasons they can't run that experiment on humans, especially children. However what they can measure in humans ties OPN directly to Scoliosis.

Children with Scoliosis have dangerously high levels of OPN and the higher the level the worse the curve is. Interestingly enough bracing can lower OPN levels.

I could be wrong but to me it sounds like inflammation is going haywire in the spine. Pushing the back straight reduces the stress on the vertbebrea and this reduces the level of inflammation. I'm not sure if they know what triggers this process in the first place but the mainstream view is that the nervous system has been damaged.

Don't be surprised if 10 years from now scientists announce that Scoliosis is triggered by the damage caused by an infection in genetically susceptible children. A lot of things appear to be headed that way...

PANDAS: A link between strep throat and OCD (http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1769)

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

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)

PNUTTRO
11-05-2009, 03:06 PM
. . .double oi.

If you read long and hard enough, you can make anything fit your own theory. I still say your wrong, only because I am not yet convinced.

p

mamamax
01-02-2011, 09:09 AM
Dingo, CD, Ballet Mom & Hdugger -

As i begin the search for cure (or remission) with my sister for her small cell cancer (extended), i was somewhat amazed to find reference to many things discussed in this thread; specifically how psychology affects biology, and how while one appears a hard science, so is the other (though lesser understood).

Regarding Cancer:



Since its first identification as a transformation-associated protein, osteopontin (OPN) has been recognised as important in the processes of tumorigenicity and metastasis. Here, we review the evidence that OPN might be considered as a candidate prognostic marker in human cancer. In animal systems, evidence from cell injection experiments and genetically manipulated mice suggest an important but complex role for the protein in tumour progression. Moreover, studies in a variety of human cancers associate high levels of OPN expression in tumours or in blood with more advanced cancers. The mechanism of action of OPN in promoting cancer is still unclear, and we consider aspects of OPN biology that can complicate interpretation of human studies. Nevertheless, growing evidence supports a role for OPN as a potential prognostic factor for various human cancers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164297/




Osteopontin: a bridge between bone and the immune system
OPN is a phosphorylated glycoprotein secreted by activated macrophages, leukocytes, and activated T lymphocytes, and present in extracellular fluids, at sites of inflammation, and in the ECM of mineralized tissues (5, 6). This cytokine mediates important cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions. OPN is abundant in bone, where it facilitates the attachment of osteoclasts to the bone matrix via an interaction with cell surface αvβ3 integrin and CD44, the hyaluronic acid receptor (7). OPN–/– mice have a subtle bone phenotype, with delayed and impaired bone resorption (7). In the immune system, OPN plays a role in chemotaxis, leading to the migration of macrophages and dendritic cells to sites of inflammation. Activation of T lymphocytes results in an increase in OPN transcription, hence its alternative designation as Eta-1. Weber et al. have demonstrated that OPN is a T lymphocyte suppressor factor and that it enhances B lymphocyte Ig production and proliferation (8). In addition, OPN is an important cytokine mediating Th1 immunity (9).

OPN interacts with a variety of cell surface receptors, including the αvβ3, αvβ5, αvβ1, α4β1, α8β1, and α9β1 integrins, as well as CD44. Binding of OPN to these cell surface receptors stimulates cell adhesion, migration, and specific signaling functions. The major integrin-binding site in OPN is the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) integrin-binding motif, which is required for the adherence of many cell types to OPN. However, other sequences within OPN have also been shown to mediate cell adherence. For example, cleavage of human OPN by thrombin exposes the SVVYGLR sequence (SLAYGLR in the mouse), promoting the adherence of cells expressing α9 and α4 integrins. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164297/

The Brain, Heart & Electromagnetic Energy - Some pretty deep reading:
http://www.arlenetaylor.org/brain-references-menu/1125-electromagnetic-energy

In the field of what may be called psychology as it relates to biology, a truly compelling video offered by Greg Braden (Scientist/Geologist), and cancer survivor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmMNlmn1DPc

Sharon - you are right (imo), the brain is where future research will make its greatest strides. I would add that it may be found that the heart plays also a great role in all of that.

What does all this have to do with scoliosis and the central nervous system? More perhaps, than we understand.

Dingo
01-03-2011, 03:53 PM
I'm watching the Greg Bradden video and it's pretty interesting.

It reminded me of a story on sciencedaily that I read the other day.

Evidently the Placebo effect works... even when the subject knows it's a placebo.

ScienceDaily: Placebos Work -- Even Without Deception (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222173033.htm)


"Not only did we make it absolutely clear that these pills had no active ingredient and were made from inert substances, but we actually had 'placebo' printed on the bottle," says Kaptchuk. "We told the patients that they didn't have to even believe in the placebo effect. Just take the pills."


...patients taking the placebo doubled their rates of improvement to a degree roughly equivalent to the effects of the most powerful IBS medications.


"I didn't think it would work," says senior author Anthony Lembo, HMS associate professor of medicine at BIDMC and an expert on IBS. "I felt awkward asking patients to literally take a placebo. But to my surprise, it seemed to work for many of them."

The mind has more impact on our health and well being than we currently understand.

jrnyc
01-03-2011, 05:38 PM
could someone please tell my herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and spinal arthritis about "placebo effect"?!! might as well talk to my listhesis and hypokyphosis at the same time..

i've studied psych and social work for some 30 years now, and i know all about the power of suggestion, etc...

i also know what my curves look like on an X ray...and HOW DAMN MUCH PAIN my discs are causing me!!
if any doctor or surgeon talked to me about my brain taking on my pain, i'd walk out and never go back!

doctors told me for a year and a half that i was a hypochondriac, because they didn't know enough to test me for Lyme disease...
surprise! as soon as they did the right test, up popped the illness invading my brain and putting me in a wheelchair!
and never once did a single doctor (all males, by the way) say "we know you are sick, we just don't know what it is yet"...never! they said "our tests say you're not sick, so you're not sick"

doctors need to be careful with that placebo stuff!
people in pain are in pain!

all i'm sayin'...

jess

hdugger
01-03-2011, 06:35 PM
I agree that there's a balance between encouraging our minds to "heal" our body, and being told that it's all in our heads (or all our fault).

On the placebo side, I've always been fascinated by the idea that warts can by hypnotized away. I mean, if my mind already knows how to make a wart go away, why does it need hypnosis to do it. Yet, it appears to work.

On the other side, the single most awful second-hand disease experience I've had was watching a Christian scientist dying of aggressive breast cancer. That she held out on the treatment for so long probably didn't matter in the long run - she had so very little chance of beating the cancer no matter what she did. The awful thing was that she felt that her illness and death was a referendum on her faith, and not just the way this disease inevitably played out, and she went out feeling like a personal failure for not overcoming the cancer.

Somewhere between those two ideas lies a possible path.

Pooka1
01-03-2011, 06:39 PM
I think adults should be free to refuse treatment like that. These are Darwin Award winners and that is their right.

And they should of course go to jail for refusing the identical treatment for minor children. The charge should be homicidal stupidity.

Dingo
01-03-2011, 09:18 PM
I think the mind has a powerful impact on health for reasons we don't yet understand.... but don't get me wrong, it's only one factor.

For instance vitamin C might be good for the body but it's not the only thing that keeps us healthy. We need exercise, a healthy diet, good sleep habits, etc. etc.