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Thread: Dense but interesting paper on epigenetics of AIS

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    Dense but interesting paper on epigenetics of AIS

    http://www.scoliosisjournal.com/cont...-7161-6-26.pdf

    I am on page 4... hope to read the rest because I fall asleep. :-)

    Ever since I read that identical twins can differ greatly in terms of epigenetics (e.g., gene copy number), I thought this could account for why the concordance between monozygotic twins was not 100% with AIS even if there are separate genes coding for incidence, progression, and severity. Epigenetics might be a possible answer but this research is in its infancy.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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    Oh hey they mention the "V" word. Dingo gets a point.
    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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    Wow. Very dense, but very nice article. It has some nice definitions in it as well. Anyone who has ever commented on a genetics thread in here should read this. I love figures 3, 4 and especially 5. Gives a little perspective on how complicated it all is.

    In the same vein, I asked some geneticist friends down the hall how they would simply/generally define 'environment' in the genetic sense of the word. She kind of laughed and said "Oh my!.... Well.... Uh... Really it's anything that isn't the DNA itself." So it could be anything from the expression of a gene to environmental toxins to gender to activity and everything in between.

    I also wanted to comment about exercise/strength training. I can't find the recent thread and don't really feel like hunting it down right now, plus the above article reminded me of this point I wanted to make. In regards to how 15-minutes of exercise can do anything to the muscle/spine/curve. The reason this is possible is the same reason we can increase the size and strength of our bicep in 5-10 minutes /day. Focused and intense exercise stresses the muscle such that it begins to function differently due to a number of reasons including gene expression. The phenotype of the muscle can actually begin to change, not to mention the size, shape, metabolism, motor unit activation, etc... There are many studies on different forms of strength and endurance training that show these physiologically significant changes in a relatively small amount/time of exercise.

    I do see the point that the challenge is trying to make though. But it would be better stated to ask whether the specific exercise is affecting the correct muscles or enough muscles to influence the spine/curve, i.e. While it is certain that 15-20 minutes of strength training can have dramatic effects on a wide array of muscle functions [ref ref ref ref ref ref] and so protocols using short time but focused and intense strength training could theoretically have a positive effect on the curve, it is questionable whether one exercise can target enough muscles, or the correct muscles, to do this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin_Mc View Post
    In the same vein, I asked some geneticist friends down the hall how they would simply/generally define 'environment' in the genetic sense of the word. She kind of laughed and said "Oh my!.... Well.... Uh... Really it's anything that isn't the DNA itself." So it could be anything from the expression of a gene to environmental toxins to gender to activity and everything in between.
    That may be true w.r.t. to other conditions but w.r.t. AIS, has anyone seen a paper in a top journal or any peer-reviewed journal of a study on any "environmental" variable that wasn't like what I listed earlier (i.e., things not normally called "environmental" by non-scientists)? It seems like these other things were mentioned to be inclusive and not to imply there is enough (or any) evidence to interest any researcher hoping to crack that nut. On the other hand, in every paper I have picked up (albeit not that many), "environmental" was something OTHER than the lay connotation like variable penetrance, epigenetics, genetic heterogenicity, maternal age, etc. etc. etc. Maybe I missed a passel of papers on these other types of "envirnmental triggers. I don't know. So not my field.

    If someone can find a paper on AIS etiology that is looking at an "environmental" variable in the sense of something OTHER than the list I posted on the other thread then I would like to see it. And then I'd like to see it replicated independently. I don't recall Jack Cheng mentioning anything like that in his 2009 review of the research directions in AIS etiology. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    Of course none of that implies that Jack Cheng's group or the other groups studying AIS etiology are presently on the right path. One can only hope, though.
    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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    Dingo still gets to keep his point, by the way. A mention is sufficient. :-)
    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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    I haven't read the paper, but will do when I have more time. But this is kind of a funny thing to bring up right now. I was looking randomly at other subjects and epigenetics caught my eye. I was reading that epigenetics can cause different gene expression of children born to surrogate mothers when the egg is not hers, or in cases of embryo adoption. The kids come out fine, but may be different than if they were carried by there biological mothers. I found this interesting, although it didn't come from a peer reviewed paper. I started looking up epigenetics and was also thinking of it in this context. Pooka1, good find!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rohrer01 View Post
    I haven't read the paper, but will do when I have more time. But this is kind of a funny thing to bring up right now. I was looking randomly at other subjects and epigenetics caught my eye. I was reading that epigenetics can cause different gene expression of children born to surrogate mothers when the egg is not hers, or in cases of embryo adoption. The kids come out fine, but may be different than if they were carried by there biological mothers. I found this interesting, although it didn't come from a peer reviewed paper. I started looking up epigenetics and was also thinking of it in this context. Pooka1, good find!
    Oh hey I was hoping you would chime in on this thread. I will look forward to hearing your opinion about it.

    There had to be something major going on to explain the obvious differences between identical twins to include different drug allergies, different jaw structures, slight different hair color, different curve types, etc. just to name a few just going on between my two kids. The wildly different gene copy numbers shown between ID twins maybe is a clue that that is important in AIS difference also.
    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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    I read through the paper but don't have a whole lot of time to comment at the moment. I guess my biggest interpretation of the paper is that it covers everything that we have been debating over and over, genetics vs. environment. As I have tried to explain many times, environment can affect the genetics. They just came up with a bunch of new terminology and redifined some old terminology to explain how the environmental influence can affect the genetic expression (phenotype). Sorry, Dr. Mc, they intentionally excluded bracing and exercise studies from their collective of information. I was disappointed, however, that they didn't even mention joint hypermobility when they were discussing proprioception in terms of certain sports activities having no effect on scoliosis. To me that was a HUGE blunder, in the sense that they concluded that IS patients tend to have poor proprioception (which in many cases is true) therefore do not tend to engage in these types of activities and would benefit if they did in the sense that they would develop better proprioception and thus lead to less curvatures. If you look up epigenetics on Wikipedia, you will get a very similar information as explained in this paper. I expect that this new terminology will become more widely used as the field of genetics expands, leading to more specific studies in these directions. I am a little disappointed, that nothing NEW was really addressed. It was just renamed.

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    this one needs re-posting
    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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