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

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNUTTRO View Post
    I disagree. Most blood tests are very good at screening people that will require further examination.

    My biggest problem with any test for scoliosis to date is that NONE of them significantly change the clinical outcome for anyone. For most people, their curve won't progress. For the remaining people, you always end up with surgery. Everyone gets x-rays.

    The most important factor is prediction of progression and Moreau's test doesn't do that. He doesn't even say that the patients with the lowest scores have the biggest curves.

    Axial claims that Scolioscore is predictive of progression, but I don't believe it yet. The statistical contributions of 52 independent factors requires a HUGE population to reach significance. It is still hard to say.

    p
    What I meant is that screening tests in general - even good ones - miss some people. An example of a very common test is the blood test they give women to predict whether their unborn child has Down's Syndrome. There is a very high false positive rate with this test creating extreme anxiety in many pregnant women. The only truly accurate way to know this is to do an amniocentesis.

    I also agree with Skemvic about creating unneccessary anxiety in patients and parents with false positives. With that said, all of these tests are still in the trial phases as far as I've seen and are not available to the general population, at least not with any degree of frequency. Researchers have to start somewhere with their investigations. I'm sure as more is understood, the kinks will be worked out and better tests will be developed. It's good that there are people like you all who know what to look for as far as efficacy in these tests. Knowledge protects.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by skevimc View Post
    I'm to the point where I'm tired of seeing all of these hints at this great 'eureka' moment for AIS coming from this line of research. Let's see it already!
    I find it interesting that he announced that the test would be ready in a year certain and we are well past that.

    He has been doing research for ~10 years which in the scheme of things is not long, at least compared to many others. I think announcing and missing the pub date by a mile is a rookie mistake that he likely won't repeat.

    Now that brings us back to the question of WHY he missed the pub date. He is still at the stage of patent and press release which is to say very early in the process. And even if he does eventually publish somewhere, it seems to me that this work is so intrinsically complex, non-specific, uncontrollable, etc. that the results are quite likely to be false (or not useful). This is tough nut to crack but he is trying to his credit. If it was easy it would have been solved by now.

    We will see.
    Last edited by Pooka1; 06-19-2010 at 09:20 AM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  3. #48
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    Telegram for Dr. Ogilvie

    "We have solid evidence that IS is caused by both genetics and the environment. This is why genetic tests won’t work because they cannot simultaneously consider the environment." -- Dr. A. Moreau

    I'm sure Ogilvie will see the error of his ways and remove Scoliscore from the market forthwith. Or not.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by skevimc View Post
    This is a good point. It would take quite a bit of conclusive data to have this dramatically change the treatment paradigm.

    A serious problem I see with this is that OPN is ubiquitously expressed. The patient values and control values should not have a huge overlap. If so, there would be a lot of false positives and potentially ramp up anxiety in some patients.

    What is the relationship of OPN and the menstrual cycle? What about during a growth spurt? The body uses inflammation to assist in remodeling, i.e. it's not always a bad thing. What role does OPN play in the immune system's response to bacteria? Does it play a role in anti-body production?

    If a relationship exists with progression and stability, I would see this as more an effect rather than a cause. But as this is a relatively new avenue it will be interesting to learn more about as more data is published.
    This is a fraction of the total questions remaining to be solved that suggest Moreau has much more work to do. And even if it is published means it is more likely to be false than correct.

    It is easier to send a man to the moon and return him safely than to solve scoliosis as we can see by the results to date. Biochemistry of medical problems is just intrinsically complex having arisen from billions of years of evolution.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    Something I missed earlier. Dingo mentioned that the forelimbs of mice were removed causing OPN to rise. These mice then developed scoliosis. How can it be determined that it was the OPN that caused the scoliosis and not muscle/ligament/nerve damage and the fact that the mice had to adapt to being bipedal when they, in fact, are not supposed to be? Could pain have been a driving factor also? I'm sure that their post surgical pain was not even addressed. I don't think this particular test proves anything about OPN function other than it is elevated after trauma.
    Good work. This is one of dozens if not hundreds of reasons why this work is likely false.

    And I wonder what PETA is doing about the bipedalized mice issue. This seems like a powder keg issue that probably doesn't even provide any relevant results for humans... a lose-lose scenario.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    Part 4

    Question 14) When mice don’t produce Osteopontin Scoliosis doesn’t occur. The following quote is from your patent, “OPN-knockout mice do not develop a scoliosis (NS) even if they are in the same genomic background (C57BI6/J)”. What does this tell us about OPN and Scoliosis?

    Dr. Moreau) This experiment indicates that OPN is required to trigger scoliosis onset. It is worth mentioning that bipedal surgeries (amputation of forelimbs) performed on C57Bl6 mice, which are naturally deficient in melatonin synthesis, induce scoliosis through an acute condition (the surgery) resulting in an elevation of OPN levels (since wound healing is a naturally inflammatory process), which cannot be decreased in absence of melatonin because melatonin is a powerful OPN inhibitor. The same phenomenon occurs after a pinealectomy (removal of the pineal gland, which is the main source of melatonin) in chickens. The fact that treatments of pinelactomized animals with pharmacological doses of melatonin prevent scoliosis has nothing to do with a lack of melatonin but is rather associated with the property of melatonin to repress the production of OPN. Having said that, I do not recommend the use of melatonin because (1) melatonin may trigger many side effects including the promotion of dormant tumours and (2) genetic predisposition toward scoliosis may affect how the cells respond to melatonin and so far the results published by my colleague Dr. Machida are not at all convincing about the usefulness of melatonin.
    I wondered about this question and answer. Couldn't it be said that most mice don't get scoliosis, OPN KO or not? I can't find a reference of a OPN KO bipedal experiment.
    Jun KO mice get scoliosis (Development. 2003 Jan;130(1):103-9).

    The answer by Moreau doesn't answer the question either. It's a circular argument.

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    Mickey will be very upset about all of this...but he says none of his family have any history of scoli!

    jess

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNUTTRO View Post
    I wondered about this question and answer. Couldn't it be said that most mice don't get scoliosis, OPN KO or not? I can't find a reference of a OPN KO bipedal experiment.
    Jun KO mice get scoliosis (Development. 2003 Jan;130(1):103-9).
    That's an interesting point. I'm sure if we had a panel of peer reviewers in this field that many such interesting points would emerge. What we have here is two people on forum who have some requisite background to comment substantively and then we have a few bunnies who would be wowed by patent nonsense were it suitably phrased and parsed.

    The answer by Moreau doesn't answer the question either. It's a circular argument.
    I'm trying to see what exactly he is saying... let's see...

    Question 14) When mice don’t produce Osteopontin Scoliosis doesn’t occur. The following quote is from your patent, “OPN-knockout mice do not develop a scoliosis (NS) even if they are in the same genomic background (C57BI6/J)”. What does this tell us about OPN and Scoliosis?

    Dr. Moreau) This experiment indicates that OPN is required to trigger scoliosis onset. It is worth mentioning that bipedal surgeries (amputation of forelimbs) performed on C57Bl6 mice, which are naturally deficient in melatonin synthesis, induce scoliosis through an acute condition (the surgery) resulting in an elevation of OPN levels (since wound healing is a naturally inflammatory process), which cannot be decreased in absence of melatonin because melatonin is a powerful OPN inhibitor. The same phenomenon occurs after a pinealectomy (removal of the pineal gland, which is the main source of melatonin) in chickens.
    He seems to be saying the surgery itself induces the scoliosis in mice that can't synthesize melatonin. If that is supposedly relevant to humans then why doesn't surgery trigger scoliosis in humans? Also, in the mouse model, he is artificially INCREASING [OPN] and in the pinealized chicken model, they are artificially DECREASING melatonin. Are one or both mechanisms known to be causative (either proximal or near proximal) in IS in humans?

    The fact that treatments of pinelactomized animals with pharmacological doses of melatonin prevent scoliosis has nothing to do with a lack of melatonin but is rather associated with the property of melatonin to repress the production of OPN. Having said that, I do not recommend the use of melatonin because (1) melatonin may trigger many side effects including the promotion of dormant tumours and (2) genetic predisposition toward scoliosis may affect how the cells respond to melatonin and so far the results published by my colleague Dr. Machida are not at all convincing about the usefulness of melatonin.
    So trying to increase the melatonin level in kids through various means or even feeding it to them is a double-edged sword. And so is Selenium.

    Is there anything suggested by this research that isn't a double-edged sword?
    Last edited by Pooka1; 06-19-2010 at 09:01 PM.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrnyc View Post
    Mickey will be very upset about all of this...but he says none of his family have any history of scoli!

    jess
    This business of bipedalizing mice is unconscionable absent some very strong proof of relevance to humans which appears to be totally lacking. I question the regulatory agencies.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  10. #55
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    me too...mice and humans...the relevance is...?

    but regarding Mickey...he is considering legal action as he sees all of this as slander directed at him and the entire mouse community!

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    This business of bipedalizing mice is unconscionable absent some very strong proof of relevance to humans which appears to be totally lacking. I question the regulatory agencies.
    I was wondering what relevance cutting mouse arms off has. Would he get the same results if he cut their tails off? Or what about their ears?... My point is, if it's trauma causing OPN to rise, why cut off their arms? If he just wants to force them to walk upright like humans, then wouldn't banding their arms down give the same result? I know animal studies have to be done, but this is one reason I haven't gone into animal research. I just couldn't do it day in and day out not having a truly legitimate reason for carrying out such orders. I'm just a "bunny" you know.

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    uggghhh!! i know research is needed to find cures...but i cant stand the thought of this...it's enough to make me want to join PETA!! i dont understand the necessity of it! results for animals cant just be automatically transferred to humans...and to me, this wasnt justified!
    ughhh!

    jess

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrnyc View Post
    uggghhh!! i know research is needed to find cures...but i cant stand the thought of this...it's enough to make me want to join PETA!! i dont understand the necessity of it! results for animals cant just be automatically transferred to humans...and to me, this wasnt justified!
    ughhh!

    jess
    Maybe it would be useful as a study for amputees.

  14. #59
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    I have to wonder how much they would walk on their hind legs just because you cut off their front legs. Even if it is most of the time, has anyone shown any relevance whatsoever of any bipedalized quadruped to a human?

    Humans are the only species that shows IS. That is one of the main reasons why an animal model is lacking for research as I understand it.

    Love,
    a bunny, a bipedal bunny.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrnyc View Post
    uggghhh!! i know research is needed to find cures...but i cant stand the thought of this...it's enough to make me want to join PETA!! i dont understand the necessity of it! results for animals cant just be automatically transferred to humans...and to me, this wasnt justified!
    ughhh!

    jess
    You know, I think PETA has it's share of loonies but they have brought attention to abject cruelty towards animals at research labs. The situation with chimps and other primates is really grim last I knew. Maybe there are better regs now, I don't know.

    I know some bio types who work with fish were were bellyaching about new regs at that time (several years ago now) that they had to keep track of every vertebrate individually. Well these guys had a bunch of tanks full of a bunch of fish which of course are all vertebrates. I am sure they could not keep track of each one individually and there must have been some slack cut for aquaculture I imagine.

    But that aside, I suspect there needs to be far more regulation and enforcement of regs for lab animals.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

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