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Thread: Scioliosis is caused by infectious disease

  1. #16
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    twin study

    If they had bone fide medical case histories I bet the concordance would approach that or the other published studies.

    It's possible but I doubt it. In Moreua's study 2/3rds of children with severe scoliosis didn't have a single 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree relative with a spinal deformity. Most of the time Scoliosis appears to come out of nowhere.

    I guess we'll have to wait for another large study to get absolute confirmation.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-26-2009 at 09:09 PM.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    If they had bone fide medical case histories I bet the concordance would approach that or the other published studies.

    It's possible but I doubt it. In Moreua's study 2/3rds of children with severe scoliosis didn't have a single 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree relative with a spinal deformity. Most of the time Scoliosis appears to come out of nowhere.

    I guess we'll have to wait for another study.
    Again, the majority of people have small or moderate curves and likely wouldn't know if they had scoliosis. And identical twins can have radically different curves as I have pointed out.

    Not sure why that article is publishable. Self reporting in this area is GIGO.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

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  3. #18
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    Lightbulb genetics again

    It's possible but I doubt it. In Moreua's study 2/3rds of children with severe scoliosis didn't have a single 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree relative with a spinal deformity. Most of the time Scoliosis appears to come out of nowhere.
    Dingo

    I aways wonder about this because: was the question about whether the children were biological/adopted asked? Also, with so many divorces and remarriages, was the true genetic history really found. Moreua's study, as you quoted, assumes the true parentage was known. Some persons were never told they were adopted. With so much immigration, does one really know whether forbearers in foreign lands had scoliosis ?-before modern X-ray? This would weaken a study's validity don't you think?

    My 2 children are adopted. When my son has his children they were worrying about them being born with scoliosis!!! My scoliosis began ~ age 10.
    Last edited by Karen Ocker; 04-27-2009 at 09:06 AM.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  4. #19
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    Adoption and other factors

    Karen Ocker

    I'm not sure how Moreau did his study. You are right, it's certainly possible that adoption, remarriage and other factors could weaken that finding. However it's just as likely that a child with Scoliosis could be adopted IN to a family as OUT. I'm not sure if the 2/3rds would change enormously in either direction.

    My guess is that Moreau would have thought about this before he looked into heredity but I can't know for sure. My personal belief is that on average research methods and study results get better over time.

    BTW, although twin concordance is just 13% that doesn't mean that every case of Scoliosis is caused by environment. There certainly could be people with purely genetic forms of Scoliosis. And of course it's possible that like Polio there are no true genetic forms of Scoliosis. I guess we'll find out someday.

  5. #20
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    One more thing...

    The underlying assumption in this study is that the difference between concordance in identical twins and fraternal twins can isolate genetics.

    Given that identical twins are known to differ at least in gene copy number, and if copy number controls (in part at least) development or severity of scoliosis, then the entire premise of all twin studied comparing identical and fraternal is flawed unless they specifically determine gene copy number or rule it out as a factor.

    Lots of "if-thens" but this is a possible explanation for why some bone fide identical twins have radially different curves in my opinion. In other words, although scoliosis may be controlled largely by genetics, it would appear to be environment if they didn't look at gene copy number and if gene copy number matters.

    It's things like this that make most published research results false... unknown, unidentified factors that really matter to the bottom line conclusions.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

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  6. #21
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    twin studies

    Pooka1

    The underlying assumption in this study is that the difference between concordance in identical twins and fraternal twins can isolate genetics.

    That's the goal. Twin studies are just one tool that give scientists a general idea about what might be going on. It helps them know how to bet. The Dutch study tells me that it's safe to bet on environment. I could be wrong but I doubt it.

  7. #22
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    If genetic effects are indistinguishable in the study design from environmental effects then twin studies are worthless. FULL STOP
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
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    "We are all African."

  8. #23
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    Uh-oh...

    Pnuttro is posting to this thread and I suspect we are all going to get spanked a bit for being overly expansive in our conjecture...
    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. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    The Dutch study tells me that it's safe to bet on environment. I could be wrong but I doubt it.
    I am going to go out on a limb and tell you that you are still wrong.

    An infection theory should involve communities of people. Not just families, but schools and social organization. If you said that there are populations in a geographical area that got scoliosis, I would be more inclined to agree that there is a pathogen involved. Or if there was some immunological evidence.

    Scoliosis is a symptom of various disorders, infectious, genetic and environmental. You can't say that a pathogen causes scoliosis simply because other pathogen infections exhibit a similar outcome.

    A correlation is not causation.


    And if you respond with the same evidence that you have posted earlier, you will not convince me to change my mind.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pooka1 View Post
    Pnuttro is posting to this thread and I suspect we are all going to get spanked a bit for being overly expansive in our conjecture...
    I love it!

  11. #26
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    I honestly thought this little "party" was over when I saw you replying.

    It's practically a spectacle to see lay folks opining at length about this stuff, no?
    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."

  12. #27
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    Infectious disease

    PNUTTRO

    An infection theory should involve communities of people. Not just families, but schools and social organization. If you said that there are populations in a geographical area that got scoliosis, I would be more inclined to agree that there is a pathogen involved. Or if there was some immunological evidence.
    There is a difference between an outbreak disease like Polio or the Plague and the kind of microbe that might cause Scoliosis.

    For instance Type 1 Diabetes is caused by the common Enterovirus. It does appear to hit some areas of the world harder than others but without modern research techniques this wouldn't be obvious. Almost everyone is hit by Enterovirus but only the genetically susceptible get Type 1 Diabetes.

    There is mounting evidence that brain cancer is caused by Cytomegalovirus. 4 out of 5 people are infected with Cytomegalovirus so it doesn't make an outbreak obvious.

    Another good example might be Multiple Sclerosis which appears to be triggered by Epstein Barr Virus. Almost every person is infected with Epstein Barr but only a few people suffer from MS.

    All of these diseases are triggered by infection but it's not obvious because almost everyone is infected. More confounding is the fact that symptoms can be delayed by years or even a decade or more.

    A scoliosis microbe might enter the body, cause a few cold symptoms and knock out something important. The body's response to Enterovirus takes about a year to knock out a child's B Cells so this wouldn't necessarily happen overnight. Only years later does a parent notice that her child's spine is growing crooked.

    If it's true that every child with AIS has a specific type of nervous system disorder it makes sense that Scoliosis might work something like Type 1 Diabetes. If they don't share the same gene(s) why else would they share the same nervous system disfunction? An infection that damages a specific part of the CNS makes the most sense to me. Throughout history nothing has taken out more children than infections. The 2nd place killer/damager is probably 10,000 fold less prolific.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-28-2009 at 09:06 AM.

  13. #28
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    Ok. So its the same argument. Other diseases are caused by viruses so scoliosis must be caused by a virus too. Do you have any data for scoliosis?

    Immunological studies tell us that these specific pathogens exist is the people with certain disorders. Is there any study that says that any pathogen exists in patients with scoliosis with a high regularity?

    This is still correlation and not causation. Even the other diseases that you cite here are not definitively caused by those pathogens. The literature is littered with conflicting opinions.


    Regarding glioma report (I know it has nothing to do with scoliosis. Emphasis added by me.)

    Sensitive detection of human cytomegalovirus in tumors and peripheral blood of patients diagnosed with glioblastoma.
    Mitchell DA, Xie W, Schmittling R, Learn C, Friedman A, McLendon RE, Sampson JH.

    Duke University Medical Center, Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery,Durham, NC 27710, USA. d.mitchell@duke.edu

    Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been described to be associated with several human malignancies, though the frequency of detection remains controversial. It is unclear whether HCMV plays an active role in malignant tumor progression or becomes reactivated under pathologic conditions that result in chronic inflammation or immunosuppression.

  14. #29
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    Data for Scoliosis

    PNUTTRO

    Ok. So its the same argument. Other diseases are caused by viruses so scoliosis must be caused by a virus too. Do you have any data for scoliosis?
    In humans scoliosis can be a side effect of Polio infection. I listed 4 animals in which Scoliosis is caused by Parasites. I only looked for a few minutes on google, there might be dozens of other examples. Do you know of any animals where Scoliosis is triggered by heredity?

    In spite of this I don't believe scientists are looking for an infectious cause of Scoliosis. But like Autism researchers I'm sure they will eventually shift to environment. How else can you explain the existance of a common, worldwide, childhood CNS disorder? That sounds like Diabetes to me. Depending on where you look MZ twin concordance for Type 1 Diabetes varies from 20% to 40% or so. Scoliosis came in at 13% which is eye poppingly low. Even 50% with a low DZ rate isn't that high. I'm pretty comfortable that it's environment. Like I said before I might be wrong, but I doubt it.
    Last edited by Dingo; 04-28-2009 at 06:44 PM.

  15. #30
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    Genetic studies on AIS--Warning: some may be fiction.

    Spine. 2009 Jan 15;34(2):E94-100.
    PMID: 19139660

    Postgrad Med J. 2008 Sep;84(995):498-501.
    PMID: 18940951

    Spine. 2008 Sep 15;33(20):2199-203.
    PMID: 18794762

    Spine. 2007 Nov 15;32(24):2700-2.
    PMID: 18007247

    J Med Genet. 2008 Feb;45(2):87-92. Epub 2007 Oct 11.
    PMID: 17932119

    Dingo. Since you insist on repeating yourself, so will I. Scoliosis is an outcome, like a symptom perhaps. Think of it as a runny nose. It is an outcome that lets you know that you are sick, but wait maybe its just allergies, or you choked on your fish stick or you have spent the last 6 hours crying your eyes out.

    I can't say what causes your runny nose any more than you can tell me what causes scoliosis and neither does anyone else--otherwise, they would drop the I from AIS.

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