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5 November 2011

Perceived Distortion in Scoliosis Tied to Quality of Life

or adult patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, there is an inverse association between perceived distortion and quality of life, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in Spine.

(HealthDay News) — For adult patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, there is an inverse association between perceived distortion and quality of life (QOL), according to a study published online Oct. 27 in Spine.
Aina J. Danielsson, M.D., Ph.D., from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, and colleagues examined the effects of subjective present body appearance on QOL in adult patients with idiopathic scoliosis. In 1995, patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with moderate curve sizes were assigned to a brace or observation (non-braced). Sixteen years after maturity, 37 and 40, respectively, were followed up and completed the Scoliosis Research Society quality-of-life questionnaire (SRS-22) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36). The participants' opinions on body appearance were graded by pictorial evaluation using the Spinal Appearance Questionnaire. Curve sizes, scoliometer measurements for grading trunk asymmetry, and QOL measures were compared with these scores.

3 November 2011

Does eating high cholesterol foods increase heart disease risk?

Back in 1913 a Russian scientist, Dr Anitschkov, thought he had found the answer to heart disease: he found that it was induced by feeding cholesterol to rabbits. What he failed to realise was that rabbits, being vegetarians, have no means for dealing with this animal fat. Since the fatty deposits in the arteries of people with heart disease have also been found to be high in cholesterol, it was soon thought that these deposits were the result of an excess of cholesterol.

Such a simple theory had its attractions and many doctors still advocate a low fat, low cholesterol diet as the answer to heart disease – despite a consistent lack of positive results. In truth, this prevailing myth has been fuelled by the existence of highly profitable statin drugs, sold for their cholesterol lowering ability, which are more easily marketed by making cholesterol the villain.

1 November 2011

Is decreased bone mineral density associated with development of scoliosis?A bipedal osteopenic rat model

An association between adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and osteopenia has been proposed to exist. It is still not clear whether there is such an association and if so, whether osteopenia is a causative factor or a consequence.

Our previous pilot studies have suggested the presence of osteopenia in scoliotic animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the development of scoliosis in an unpinealectomized bipedal osteopenic rat model, implementing osteoporosis as a causative factor. 

Methods: Fifty Sprague-Dawley rats were rendered bipedal at the 3rd postnatal week and separated into control (25 rats) and heparin (25 rats receiving 1 IU/gr body weight/day) groups.

DEXA scans after 4 weeks of heparin administration showed low bone mass in the heparin group. Anteroposterior and lateral x-rays of the surviving 42 animals (19 in heparin and 23 in control groups) were taken under anesthesia at the 40th week to evaluate for spinal deformity.

Additional histomorphometric analysis was done on spine specimens to confirm the low bone mass in heparin receiving animals. Results of the DEXA scans, histomorphometric analysis and radiological data were compared between the groups. 

Results: Bone mineral densities of rats in the heparin group were significantly lower than the control group as evidenced by both the DEXA scans and histomorphometric analyses.