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Thread: There's a Battle Being Fought Between the ScoliScore Folks and the ICONS Folks

  1. #31
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    Really interesting stuff. Is there a way to test for Osteopontin other than this particular blood test? Can we get the test from Canada before it is made available here in the US?

    Here is an article I found discussing very high levels of Osteopontin in breast milk. Food for thought (so to speak).

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov.mon...2&blobtype=pdf

  2. #32
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    Bas2102

    I have spoken to Dr Rivard about this blood test and he is very excited about it. You can probaly contact Dr Rivard directly and he can tell you if he can order the test for you. You will have to go to St Justines for it. It may be a series of tests. I believe the 1st test he needs to test the whole family then just the patient there after. If you E mail him with a phone # he will call you directly. charles-hilaire.rivard@recherche-ste-justine.qc.ca

    Dingo
    I know I asked you this before but can you clear something up for me. Dr Rivard indicated that because my daughters curve has decreased so much the hormone levels in my daughter will not be elevated. Why is that? I am a bit confused.
    from CT, USA
    6 year old daughter diagnosed 7/06 33* T9

    Spinecor 8/06 - 8/2012
    8/06 11* 3/07 5*-8/07 8*-2/08 3*
    10/08 1* 4/09 Still holding @ 1*
    10/09 11* OOB 4/10 Negative 6*
    10/2011 Neg.11* IB 11yrs old 0 rotation
    4/2012 12* OOB 0 rotation
    8/2012 18* OOB for 2 weeks. TSLO night time
    2/2013 8* OOB 3 days TSLO nightime
    3/2014 8* Out of Brace permanently

  3. #33
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    daughters curve has decreased

    christine2

    I know I asked you this before but can you clear something up for me. Dr Rivard indicated that because my daughters curve has decreased so much the hormone levels in my daughter will not be elevated. Why is that? I am a bit confused.
    This is from Moreu's release
    Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity
    All transgenic C57Bi/6j mice devoid of OPN or CD44 receptor were protected against scoliosis, contrasting with wild-type ones.
    If a child's OPN (Osteopontin) levels increase above a natural level she will suffer from Scoliosis. If OPN is blocked she won't get Scoliosis.

    If your daughter's curve decreased it is very likely that her OPN levels decreased or went back into the normal zone. Of course there is also the possibility that her reduction was due to random chance.

  4. #34
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    Prostate cancer and OPN

    Here are 3 Prostate Cancer/Osteopontin links.
    If you google you'll see dozens more.

    Increased Expression of Osteopontin Contributes to the Progression of Prostate Cancer

    Osteopontin and Interleukin-8 Expression is Independently Associated with Prostate Cancer Recurrence

    Mechanisms of osteopontin and CD44 as metastatic principles in prostate cancer cells

    Guess what?
    Prostate cancer has been linked to numerous viruses. Here are some stories on the subject.

    Prostate Cancer’s Worst Form Linked to Gene-Influencing Virus

    Prostate cancer linked to HPV

    This is the end of the line for the Scoliosis gene hypothesis. Scoliosis and dozens of other potentially fatal, environmentally triggered diseases are all driven by high levels of Osteopontin.
    Last edited by Dingo; 09-28-2009 at 09:12 AM.

  5. #35
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    Thanks Dingo

    I sometimes wonder if my daughters curve could have corrected itself however I always come back to the thought that her curve went from 33* to an inbrace reading of 11* the same day.

    I am now wondering about the chicken pox vaccine, a bike injury causing the curve.
    from CT, USA
    6 year old daughter diagnosed 7/06 33* T9

    Spinecor 8/06 - 8/2012
    8/06 11* 3/07 5*-8/07 8*-2/08 3*
    10/08 1* 4/09 Still holding @ 1*
    10/09 11* OOB 4/10 Negative 6*
    10/2011 Neg.11* IB 11yrs old 0 rotation
    4/2012 12* OOB 0 rotation
    8/2012 18* OOB for 2 weeks. TSLO night time
    2/2013 8* OOB 3 days TSLO nightime
    3/2014 8* Out of Brace permanently

  6. #36
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    My thoughts (for what they're worth):

    1. The most wonderful outcome would be if they can use a test, like the osteopontin test for scoliosis (or better ones yet to be developed), to test a kid and, if positive, immediately prescribe a drug such as Minocycline to reduce the cytokine reaction and hopefully stop the development of the scoliosis in its tracks. What a wonderful thing that would be!

    2. I notice all these research studies including the one for the Star Trek device are all coming from Canada....what the heck is going on with our researchers? Are we off on the wrong track? Or is the research going on and since it's being done by private industry it is kept very quiet until patents are secure, etc. Who knows? I hope someone here in the US at least tests to see if this Minocycline might help in scoliosis cases...or perhaps its already been done and my daughter's case is just an unrelated fluke.

    3. I am rather disappointed to hear that this osteopontin test needs family members for testing also, this makes it a much more unwieldy test than I was thinking of. Maybe that's how they have to get around the fact that osteopontin is a marker in all sorts of disease processes. Maybe they could use only the mother or father who brings the child in for their physicals instead of the whole family. And to start at the age of three? Hopefully they're not planning on using these tests every six months to a year through the kids' whole lives....seems a little unreasonable. It seems maybe it might be very beneficial to those families that seem to have a genetic susceptibility to scoliosis and are already watching for signs of scoliosis, but to do this testing for every child and family in the world? Seems pretty expensive. Perhaps they're just planning on doing the test at specific points like at three and eight, ten and twelve years of age and (fourteen years for boys?), that might be a little more reasonable.

    I hope scientists are able to improve on this. It seems to me only the testing process itself could be patented, I don't see how one could patent a biological function related to an immune system reponse to many diseases. So other scientists could certainly improve on that test in the future. Let's hope they do...but it's certainly a good start!

    4. Christine, I doubt you need to worry about the chicken pox vaccine. Scoliosis has been around long before the development of the vaccine and I suspect most people that have had that vaccination don't develop scoliosis. I suspect that if scoliosis turns out to be the result of an immune system response to an infection in genetically susceptible people, I would be more concerned with the chickenpox itself. What I DO suspect, is that my daughter may have had the perfect storm of things required to cause scoliosis. Because she had the chickenpox vaccine, she developed a strange form of chickenpox...perhaps different enough that it caused her immune system to react more aggressively than normal. (They were really large pox...I thought they were spider bites when I took her in to the doctor). She already has the genetic susceptibility for acquiring scoliosis due to her superlax joints. And she was infected with this strange form of chickenpox just as she was entering her adolescent growth spurt. And I am just hypothesizing anyway....what has happened to her may have nothing to do with any of it! By the way, my daughter didn't get this variant chickenpox from the vaccine, she had the vaccine years ago when she was little. It just presented in that manner years later when she was infected with actual chickenpox going around...don't know how it ends up changing...but that's why they now want two chickenpox vaccines taken.

    5.
    This is the end of the line for the Scoliosis gene hypothesis.
    Evidence is always good to make conclusions such as this. My daughter's case is pure speculation and I suspect that there truly are genetic susceptibilities to scoliosis. Perhaps those susceptibilities are identifiable enough to help pinpoint those kids that are likely to develop scoliosis. i.e. why the Scoliscore test might work also, just from a different angle than the osteopontin test.
    Last edited by Ballet Mom; 09-28-2009 at 03:31 PM.

  7. #37
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    Scoliosis genes

    Ballet Mom

    Evidence is always good to make conclusions such as this. My daughter's case is pure speculation and I suspect that there truly are genetic susceptibilities to scoliosis. Perhaps those susceptibilities are identifiable enough to help pinpoint those kids that are likely to develop scoliosis. i.e. why the Scoliscore test might work also, just from a different angle than the osteopontin test.
    There almost certainly are genes that make children susceptible to Scoliosis. Susceptability genes may exist for every disease or disorder regardless of the cause. For example leprosy is caused by a bacterial infection that can be easily cured with antibiotics. However scientists know that genes make people susceptible to this bacteria.

    Host Gene That Makes People Vulnerable to Leprosy Discovered

    A gene could just as easily make a child susceptible to a type of pollution, a virus, physical damage, food additive, medicine, stress etc. The possibilities for different types of environmental susceptabilities are limitless. But no matter how you slice it the equation comes back to how the body responds to environmental damage and interference. Without the damage the body works just fine.

    The OPN announcement largely destroys the credibility of the Scoliosis gene hypothesis. High levels of OPN are associated with numerous, potentially fatal diseases. This makes it crystal clear that something has gone wrong.

    Susceptability genes may or may not be part of the equation.

    Your link to the New York Times story is very telling. I'd love to ask Dr. Moreau or some other scientist what types of things besides infections cause OPN to shoot into the danger zone.
    Last edited by Dingo; 09-28-2009 at 01:20 PM.

  8. #38
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    A thought just came to me....perhaps the best thing will be to use both tests together. Use the genetic test early on to determine which kids will be susceptible to scoliosis and then use the osteopontin test to continue testing only those kids genetically susceptible throughout their growth process to see if they actually get scoliosis and need treatment. That makes the osteopontin testing more reasonable when it's only done on a selective group of kids. It's a thought!

  9. #39
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    the genetic test

    Ballet Mom

    The genetic test doesn't tell parents if their daughter is susceptible to Scoliosis. It tells parents if their daughter who ALREADY HAS Scoliosis is susceptible to curve progression.

    A bad Scoliscore wouldn't mean anything to an adolescent girl who doesn't have Scoliosis. It's kind of like saying if a building is built a certain way (a girl with certain genes) it will fall a certain way if it's demolished. If the building isn't being demolished (the girl doesn't have Scoliosis) the building plans (genes) don't really matter. There are probably better analogies but that's what comes to mind.

    I am rather disappointed to hear that this osteopontin test needs family members for testing also
    I'm going to have to check the release again but I don't think that's right. I think they used family members for this particular study but that's not part of the blood test.

  10. #40
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    Dingo

    I think you are right, The family needs to get the blood tests in the research phase of the test. I would assume once on the market that will not be the case. However I think (could be wrong) that the test is still in research mode so in order to utilize it now one must be part of the research.
    from CT, USA
    6 year old daughter diagnosed 7/06 33* T9

    Spinecor 8/06 - 8/2012
    8/06 11* 3/07 5*-8/07 8*-2/08 3*
    10/08 1* 4/09 Still holding @ 1*
    10/09 11* OOB 4/10 Negative 6*
    10/2011 Neg.11* IB 11yrs old 0 rotation
    4/2012 12* OOB 0 rotation
    8/2012 18* OOB for 2 weeks. TSLO night time
    2/2013 8* OOB 3 days TSLO nightime
    3/2014 8* Out of Brace permanently

  11. #41
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    Moreau's release

    A group of 320 consecutive patients with IS were compared with 120 healthy control subjects and 82 asymptomatic offspring, born from at least one scoliotic parent, who are considered at risk of developing this disorder.
    Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity, with average values of 743+326ng/mi and 975+389ng/mi for moderated (10-44 degree) and severe (>45 degree) spinal deformities, respectively, when compared to the healthy control subjects.
    I think Dr. Moreua used healthy children who had parents with Scoliosis to make his point a little stronger. This risk factor didn't translate into high levels of OPN. Only the group with Scoliosis had high OPN. The higher the OPN, the more severe the curve.

    I'm curious to know if high levels of OPN continued well into adulthood or if they slowly shifted back to normal after skeletal maturity.
    Last edited by Dingo; 09-28-2009 at 01:49 PM.

  12. #42
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    Mean plasma OPN levels were significantly increased in IS patients and correlated with disease severity, with average values of 743+326ng/mi and 975+389ng/mi for moderated (10-44 degree) and severe (>45 degree) spinal deformities, respectively, when compared to the healthy control subjects.
    I don't know, but this sounds to me that this test also is just showing the magnitude of a scoliotic process, that has already occurred based on the size of the curve magnitude. Where is the predictive value in this?

    The genetic test doesn't tell parents if their daughter is susceptible to Scoliosis. It tells parents if their daughter who ALREADY HAS Scoliosis is susceptible to curve progression.
    This seems okay to me. There are people in ballet who believe that most people with hyperextended joints in ballet have at least a minor case of scoliosis, and from my experience, it does seem to have some basis in fact. But most of these cases aren't anything to worry about, they can't even be seen, so maybe the Scoliscore and it's predictive ability for curve progression would still be a good way to limit the need for the OPN test i.e. only the kids who have a high degree of progressing could get more in-depth testing during their growth.

    I don't even have the information for either of these tests to be able to make a reasonable interpretation of the results and what it might mean, so I'm going to stop there, and hopefully the scientists will be figuring out what all this means. I just truly hope they keep an open mind either way and use whatever methods are best for the kids....including testing the Mynicycline and see if it has a positive effect on kids diagnosed with scoliosos.
    Last edited by Ballet Mom; 09-28-2009 at 03:32 PM.

  13. #43
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    Scoliosis blood test

    Ballet Mom

    I've talked to the team in Canada and I am no longer absolutely certain how the blood test works. However I know that it's not just one test.

    The first blood test determines if the child (any age or gender) has the nervous system disorder that leads to Scoliosis. This test is taken once. Depending on the results each child is placed in one of 3 functional groups, low, medium and high risk. I'm nearly positive this test looks for Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction because in Moreau's landmark study children were placed into 3 groups. On page 5 it shows that out of 41 kids 7 were in the high risk group, 20 were in the moderate risk group and 14 were in the mild risk group. These ratios don't represent how a normal population of children with Scoliosis would be broken down because all 41 kids in this sample had their spine's fused.

    The next test is given several times per year to determine if curve progression is likely. I had previously thought this test measured Calmodulin because so much interest was in that area. Now I'm thinking this part of the test measures OPN levels. If OPN rises curve progression is imminent, if it falls or goes back to the normal zone the curve should remain stable or maybe even regress. I dunno for sure.

    We will know soon enough because these tests are going to be released in the USA sooner rather than later.
    Last edited by Dingo; 09-28-2009 at 02:23 PM.

  14. #44
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    The next test is given several times per year to determine if curve progression is likely.
    Is this a blood test? Good luck getting that several times a year from kids who aren't sick...especially young ones. And to have to continue throughout their growth years? Yikes! And having that test done several times a year from when they're three years old? It seems like the cost would be prohibitive. But, what do I know? But hey, good luck to them.
    Last edited by Ballet Mom; 09-28-2009 at 02:20 PM.

  15. #45
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    According to this paper, increased melatonin, increases osteopontin, and suppresses cAMP.

    Melatonin is higher in younger animals, and causes differentiation and calcification of osteoblasts.

    All it means is that bone cells are growing.

    So, if the melatonin (or osteopontin, or cAMP) is high, maybe curve progression is simply a consequence of a fast rate of bone growth.

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