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Thread: Interview with Dr. Alain Moreau, creator of Scoliosis blood test

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    Interview with Dr. Alain Moreau, creator of Scoliosis blood test

    Dr. Alain Moreau is the director of the The Viscogliosi Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Musculoskeletal Disorders and the developer of the Scoliosis blood test. He was kind enough to share some of his valuable time with me to explain his revolutionary blood test and the latest thinking on Scoliosis. This interview was conducted over e-mail.

    I moved question 19 near the top because it contains information that parents can use to potentially help a child living with Scoliosis. The rest of the interview is in order.

    Part 1

    Question 1) What attracted to you to the field of Scoliosis research?

    Dr. Moreau) I have had a long standing interest in bone diseases. I was trained in bone molecular biology at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Montreal, which allowed me to be recruited at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center 10 years ago, to lead a new laboratory dedicated to studying the causes of idiopathic scoliosis.

    Question 2) How long have you studied Scoliosis?

    Dr. Moreau) I have been actively involved in this field since 2000.

    Question 19) Can you offer parents of children with Scoliosis any general recommendations on diet or lifestyle? Is there anything they should do or avoid?

    Dr. Moreau) Right now, it is difficult to make any recommendation without knowing the functional and biochemical status of an asymptomatic child or a scoliotic patient. Having said that, there are a few things that could be considered:

    There is no proven diet to avoid scoliosis. It is true that selenium is a known inhibitor of OPN, but this nutrient can be highly toxic at high doses, especially in children. Moreover, we have experimental evidence that shows that selenium will not work in the majority of IS patients due to their genetic make-up and the fact that we already have enough selenium in our diet in North America.

    Reducing exposure to mycobacteria could be a good way to reduce the risk and I would start by cleaning all shower heads in the house on a monthly basis or even changing them annually since they represent an important source of mycobacteria (Opportunistic pathogens enriched in showerhead biofilms. Feazel LM, et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 22; 106(38): 16393-9. Epub 2009 Sep 14). A second thing to consider is that personally, I would remove the fish tank (aquarium) from the room of my own daughter because mycobacteria are always present in such environments. Again, I would like to stress the point that you won’t catch scoliosis by taking a shower or having a gold-fish in your home! The general idea here is to reduce the exposure to specific environmental factors to decrease risks. In order to do that, we will need to work together with parents and monitor OPN and sCD44 blood levels regularly to identify all potential environmental factors. Some patients will be more sensitive while other will be more resistant to the same environmental factors, so this is a new area of research. Only time will tell if such measures will have positive impacts, but we need to start somewhere.
    Last edited by Dingo; 06-14-2010 at 02:06 PM.

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