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Thread: Scoliosis in the context of human evolution

  1. #31
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    I think we would need a researcher to answer whether or not an autoimmune response is consistent with all the evidence in hand.

    It may be possible or it may be ruled out by what is already known.

    And I just want to say that this thread highlights why research is so intrinsically difficult and why it is not surprising that a majority of published research results are false. And through no lack of honesty and effort on the part of the researchers. And science is still the only game in town for hoping to solve this stuff.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    What is the proof there is only a genetic predisposition with IS?
    I haven't studied this field at all - I'm just using the language from the studies you quoted which were used vague terminology (i.e, genetic susceptibility, etc.)

    I'm not certain what point you're arguing, actually, or who you're arguing with. I think we all agree that there are *some* cases of AIS which are predominantly genetic, as in the study you cited. I'd also suggest that there are some cases which are purely environmental (not looking up the references, but people whose spines curve in response to tumors, or people who have lots of curving bones in their bodies due to nutritional deficiencies.)

    Beyond that, the *precise* cause of most cases of scoliosis is unknown. Genes have to play a role, because they play a role in *everything*, but that's not a particularly interesting piece of information unless a) they're shown to have a strongly deterministic role in most cases or b) they're able to show precisely they role they play in the etiology of the disorder.

    If the role of genetics is "being skinny and weak muscled is passed from parent to child and this body type makes you very prone to scoliosis" that's not very interesting information. If, OTOH, the role of genetics is "at a certain point in puberty this gene sends out faulty information to the vertebrae and they become wedge-shaped" that *is* interesting information.

    So, I don't think people are arguing that genes don't play some role, I think we (or at least I'm saying) "well, so what?"

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdugger View Post
    So, I don't think people are arguing that genes don't play some role, I think we (or at least I'm saying) "well, so what?"
    Well I do think some here argue genetics might have no role.

    Also, I can only conclude that the fact that there is a large literature on genetics of IS is consistent with there being a reason that matters. Not my field and we are all working without a net here.
    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. #34
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    "being skinny and weak muscled is passed from parent to child and this body type makes you very prone to scoliosis"
    Just out of curiosity, does it appear that most people with IS are on the taller side with weaker muscles? I'd say that my son who has scoliosis is definitely on the skinnier side and although he hasn't finished growing yet, I'd say he's on the taller side like me, and I'm also thin. My older son who doesn't have scoliosis was on the thinner side too and we used to call him Scrawny Shawny but by the time he reached sixteen he was not so scrawny and reached 6' 3".

    Are there people out there who are short and stout who also have IS scoliosis?

  5. #35
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    Hi Elisa,

    Yes, scoliosis seems to show up far more in ectomorphs (scrawny folk) then in other body types. I *suspect* that it has something to do with the extra muscle mass of the other types holding the bones in shape, but that's just a guess, since I don't know if small curves show up equally in all body types.

    I know that small curves show up in boys and girls in roughly equal numbers, but that mostly girls progress. Again, I suspect this has something to do with a difference in muscle mass.

    - hdugger, scrawny mother of a scrawny son with scoliosis

  6. #36
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    - hdugger, scrawny mother of a scrawny son with scoliosis
    ^^ That's funny.

    See, now I'm starting to wonder if I should have forced my scolio boy to exercise and join some sport teams to build up his muscle tone. He's just been the type of kid who absolutely hated PE, refused to join any sports' teams and preferred to play on his computer, watch TV and read so I never pushed it.

    OTOH, my older son played a bit of soccer, basketball, roller bladed, long boarded, hiked, swam and rode his mountain bike.

    Maybe we should MAKE these scrawny, low level of fitness kids get out there and exercise? Then again, I've never been athletic either BUT as a kid I did ride my bike, swam and never spent a minute on the computer b/c no one had one. I also loved to jump around and dance and of course hang from monkey bars.

  7. #37
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    Scoliosis and autoimmunity

    Elisa

    As long as Scoliosis remains idiopathic there is no reason to exclude the possibility that spinal curves are the side effect of some sort of autoimmune disease. In fact one of the top researchers in the world, Dr. Alain Moreau believes that Osteopontin is significantly higher in children with Scoliosis. (source) Elevated Osteopontin is also associated with a variety of different autoimmune diseases. (source) It's certainly possible that at some point scientists will connect the two. Only time will tell.

    As for bodytypes and Scoliosis...
    Relation between adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and morphologic Somatotypes.

    CONCLUSION: Adolescent girls with progressive adolescent idiopathic scoliosis have a morphologic somatotype that is different from the normal adolescent population. 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.
    Last edited by Dingo; 11-27-2010 at 08:03 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisa View Post
    See, now I'm starting to wonder if I should have forced my scolio boy to exercise and join some sport teams to build up his muscle tone. He's just been the type of kid who absolutely hated PE, refused to join any sports' teams and preferred to play on his computer, watch TV and read so I never pushed it.
    Yeah, I wondered about that myself - my son is not only an ectomorph, but kind of brainy and uncoordinated. But, in girls, the disease seems to show up disproportionally in athletes. So, it's really not clear that there's some specific, simple action we could have taken that would have warded it off. Roll of the dice, for now, until the fog of causality clears.

  9. #39
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    my son is not only an ectomorph, but kind of brainy and uncoordinated
    That sounds a lot like my son. I wouldn't call him brainy in the sense that he's studious and all, but rather he seems to really enjoy learning and discussing all things science and I can sit down with him and have an intellectual conversation. He doesn't hang out much with kids his age b/c he find them kinda immature. He seems wiser to me than he should be for his age.

    What's really weird was when he was little, he learned to ride a two-wheeler at three and had no trouble with ice skating at three either and I really thought he was going to be athletic but as he got to be around nine he lost all interest in sports. I've always enjoyed his company b/c I could just sit and talk to him about pretty much anything and he'd enjoy the conversion.

    Dingo, I'm still tossing the autoimmune idea in my head b/c of the appearance of sudden spinal issues but of course I certainly do not know.

  10. #40
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    Dingo, do you know if small scoliosis curves appear across the body types, but just progress in ectomorphs? Or do they appear disproportionally in ectomorphs?

  11. #41
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    What about girls with scoliosis... are they generally of the taller leaner type too? I wonder if the cause of scolio is different between males/females?

  12. #42
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    Yeah, they're of the same type. I think it's just that a boy, even with a diminished muscle mass, has more muscles than a girl of the same rough body type. Or, you know, it could be something else altogether

  13. #43
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    I don't have the references to back it up, but I think I've read that scrawny body types are common in both males and females with scoliosis. The reason females tend to progress more may be due to higher estrogen levels. I don't know of any link between sports/physical activity and scoliosis so much as natural (genetic?) body type. But there is a high prevalence of ballet dancers and others that are hyper-flexible.

    Does anyone have the research to back this up?
    1993, Age 13, 53* Right T Curve w/ Left L compensatory
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  14. #44
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    my guess

    hdugger

    Dingo, do you know if small scoliosis curves appear across the body types, but just progress in ectomorphs? Or do they appear disproportionally in ectomorphs?
    My assumption (and a lot of people's) is that Scoliosis is triggered by a nervous system disorder. Children with larger frames probably have less symptoms but the CNS disorder hits all children equally.

  15. #45
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    #37

    Mehera

    I don't have the references to back it up, but I think I've read that scrawny body types are common in both males and females with scoliosis. The reason females tend to progress more may be due to higher estrogen levels. I don't know of any link between sports/physical activity and scoliosis so much as natural (genetic?) body type. But there is a high prevalence of ballet dancers and others that are hyper-flexible.

    Does anyone have the research to back this up?
    Yep, check post #37 in this thread. According to research physically larger children have less risk of curve progression.

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