Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is Scoliosis Preventable? Considering Genetics' Impact

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature in the normally straight vertical line of the spine. If viewed from the side, the spine shows a mild roundness in the upper back and shows a degree of inward curvature in the lower back. When a person with scoliosis is viewed from the front to the back, their spine appears to be curved. Individuals with scoliosis often present an S-shaped or C-shaped curve. It is always questioned whether scoliosis is due to genetics. Familial studies that have been conducted on scoliosis have associated the X chromosome, as well as regions on chromosomes 6, 9, 16, and 17 with a strong linkage to scoliosis. Medical daily states that the exact gene linked to scoliosis is the POC5 gene. Scientist from the University of Montreal state this the exact gene responsible. 
It has also been determined that scoliosis has a higher incidence in first-degree relatives in comparison to second and third degree relatives. Although the genetic etiology of scoliosis is confirmed, it is not the only cause. Scoliosis can result from a combination of genetics and neurological, environmental and behavioral factors. Research conducted on scoliosis associated it with different white and gray matter characteristics in the brain responsible for processing position sense. A mutation in genes associates with somatosensory feedback to the central nervous also plays a role. An X-ray of the individuals back can be conducted to know if one has scoliosis. Also a test known as the “forward bending test”, which is performed by bending forward through your hips with your legs straight and allowing your spine to hunch forward is conducted. Scoliosis is a three-dimensional deformation. One most likely develops a rib hump and when a forward bending test is conducted one side of the back may appear higher than the other.

This kind of research is helpful in understanding where scoliosis originates and also how it is developed. Instead of it being a mystery to most, they can look at their family history and find out who has it and how likely they are or their children are to having scoliosis also. Also it is great to know that it is more than just genetics, that many other aspects play a role in the development of scoliosis. Knowing this information can probably help individuals prevent themselves from developing a severe case of scoliosis even if it is a family history. 

1 comment:

  1. Scoliosis is luckily easily curable with a simple back brace and some time, but it would be great to be able to prevent scoliosis before it is serious.