View Full Version : Possible Cure for Scoliosis Within Next Ten Years?

13th February 2009, 11:40 PM
Hey All,

I thought to forward the following message I received on another group. I think Dr. Moreau and colleagues may be onto something really big! The article is very technical and complicated but I think the writer/poster did an excellent job explaining the original study.

Hi Celia I'm glad the eye patches are helping your daughter sleep.
Increased darkness increases melatonin production which causes
increased sleepiness, better immune system function, lower risk of
cancer and better bone production among other things. It's a natural
wonder drug and our brains make plenty of it as long as we sleep in
complete darkness as we did for 1000s of years.


Ok here is the good news, scientists have more or less narrowed down
the cause of Scoliosis. Either that or they've gotten darned close.
One of Melatonin's jobs is to move into Osteoblasts (cells that make
bone) and clear out a molecule called Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate
better known as cAMP. Evidently all children with Idiopathic Scoliosis
have a dysfunction in this system. The Melatonin shows up but it
doesn't eject the cAMP. Just a few months ago scientists discovered
that by adding 17-beta-estradiol (estrogen) to the equation the
dysfunction appears fixed. It's hard to understand but you can read
the basics here.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18507714? (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18507714?)
ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubm

I expect to hear more about this over the next year. If this cures
Scoliosis it may still take a decade or more to develop a workable
therapy. On the other hand it might not be any harder than repurposing
an FDA approved hormone therapy that is already approved for use in
another disorder. I think that's called "Off Label."
Ok, so what could be so bad about extra Melatonin? For many kids with
Scoliosis it shouldn't do anything and in a few it appears that it
might help. But in a small group of children with AIS it appears to
work backwards. As Melatonin goes up cAMP inhibtion actually goes down.

http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf (http://pico.sssup.it/files/allegati/2004_1469.pdf)

Scroll to page 5 of the original study. You'll see a graph that explains it perfectly. 41 children with
AIS were measured. The first group has 7 children (n=7) and these kids are the ones who appear to
work in reverse. You can see that as Melatonin concentration increases
(-9 at the bottom is the amount an average kid makes, -7 and -5 are
achieved through drugs) cAMP accumulation goes up. Theoretically extra
cAMP is the problem causing AIS so this might be harmful. The next
group has 20 children (n=20). In this larger group healthy Melatonin
levels (-9) have no effect at all so for them it's probably fine. The
next group has 14 children (n=14) and in these children you can see
that Melatonin does reduce cAMP just not as much as it does in healthy
children. Theoretically these kids might be helped by a little extra
melatonin caused by sleeping in darkness. The last group, "controls"
has 3 children. These kids are sick with something because they had
surgery to be in the study but they don't have AIS. Look at cAMP drop
as Melatonin goes to -9. This is what it should do.
So assuming this sample is representative here is how it breaks down.

Group 1: 17% (7 out of 41) These children might be hurt by extra

Group 2: 49% (20 out of 41) These children might not be directly
affected by Melatonin either way

Group 3: 34% (14 out of 41) These children might be helped by a little
extra Melatonin from sleeping in darkness.
The best news of all. An inexpensive blood test is about to be
released that will determine which group a child is in.

http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2006/06_30/3_advances_medi (http://www.nationalreviewofmedicine.com/issue/2006/06_30/3_advances_medicine03_12.html)cine03_12.html

This test probably has 100 different benefits not the least of which is
that it gives doctors the ability to rapidly test different potential
drug therapies. No need to wait months and watch for curve
progression, just do a blood test. This probably speeds up a drug
therapy by a factor of 1000.

Dr. Alain Moreau, creator of the Scoliosis blood test believes that
drug treatments for Scoliosis are just around the corner. Although it
sounds like hype it makes a certain amount of sense. Scientist believe
that a type of estrogen isn't getting into the Osteoblasts to help
Melatonin kick out the cAMP. With the blood test scientists will be
able to rapidly test existing drugs to find out which might cure or at
least help. Obviously new drugs and gene therapies will eventually be
created but that takes time.


"we are now, for the first time, in the exceptional position of being
able to foresee the eradication of the disease in the very near future
with the development of the first drugs within ten years' time."

14th February 2009, 11:07 PM
I was asked by the writer/poster to attach the following disclaimer. I think the same concerns would apply to estrogen supplements. No parent should treat their child without doctor supervision; furthermore we all know there are many doctors who have no idea what they're doing so I cannot stress enough the importance of caution.


Worried parents should never ever give their child melatonin or supplements. Not only is this a waste
of money but it might harm their child's neurological development.

Even small amounts of light from nightlights, hall lights, LCDs on
clocks and outside streetlamps can disrupt the body’s production of
melatonin. Removing these variables will naturally increase the
body’s production of melatonin in children and adults. This costs
nothing and it's effective. Never give children Melatonin
supplements. Nobody knows the long-term effects of artificial
melatonin. Long-term use in children may reduce the body’s production
of natural melatonin, perhaps permanently.

Until the blood test is released sometime in 2009 no parent knows
which of the 3 groups their child is in. In this sample a small
group of children (approximately 17%) may potentially be harmed as
melatonin levels rise. However these tests were done on osteoblasts
outside the body. As is the case in so many other things there is
the possibility that Melatonin and Osteoblasts works differently
inside the body.

16th February 2009, 04:06 AM
What about the infantile scoliosis cases how would this apply?since this is about AIS? isn't all scoliosis caused the"same way".


16th February 2009, 01:40 PM
I have no idea but isn't infantile scoliosis a different entity from adolescent? As a side note, when Deirdre was a baby she would wake up often in the middle of the night, more so than my son. Her sleep patterns were horrible. I don't know if it had anything to do with melatonin.

27th February 2009, 09:30 PM
I hope my mother doesn't read this! She would feel horrible if the reason I am in so much pain right now is because she let me sleep with a nightlight for the first 8 years of my life...

25th March 2009, 11:04 PM
I hope your right Sealy, no one should have to deal with the s**t we all do

27th March 2009, 03:43 AM
Just off the press..some very exciting findings for curves under 35 degrees in AIS :D

1: J Pineal Res. 2009 Apr;46(3):344-8.

Serum melatonin levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prediction and prevention for curve progression--a prospective study.

Machida M (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Machida%20M%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Dubousset J (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Dubousset%20J%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Yamada T (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Yamada%20T%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Kimura J (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22Kimura%20J%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus).
National Institute of Musculo-Skeletal Disorders, Murayama Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan. machida@murayama.hosp.go.jp
The correlation of serum melatonin levels and curve progression in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, and the effects of melatonin therapy in scoliotic patients with reduced levels of endogenous melatonin were studied in 40 adolescent patients with moderate to severe idiopathic scoliosis. Of the scoliotic subjects, 28 had stable scoliosis and 12 had progressive scoliosis. Normal melatonin levels were derived from 25 age-matched control patients. Serum melatonin levels were monitored yearly in scoloiotic patients for a period ranging from 3 to 6 yr, revealing a diurnal pattern with low values during the day and high at night. Scoliotic patients with normal levels were not treated or were treated with a brace, and all but two patients with low endogenous melatonin were treated with oral supplements of the indole. Of the 22 patients with a normal melatonin level, 16 had stable scoliosis and six had progressive scoliosis. Of the 16 patients treated for a low melatonin level, 12 had stable scoliosis and four had a progressive course. The two untreated cases had a progressive course. Of the 12 patients who had progressive scoliosis, nine had >35 degrees of curve at initial examination. These findings suggest that melatonin deficiency plays a role in the prognosis of idiopathic scoliosis. Therefore, melatonin supplements may prevent the progression of scoliosis, especially in mild cases with less than a 35 degrees curve.
PMID: 19317797 [PubMed - in process]

22nd April 2009, 11:42 AM
Fascinating stuff. I was on sleeping pills when I was about 8, becuase I was so tense I could never sleep. I was diagnosed with AIS when I was 11. Spooky or what?

22nd April 2009, 06:49 PM
I would say so.

We recently got my daughter a night mask for her eyes and she's been sleeping throughout the night. Before that she was waking up at 2 in the morning every now and again. I have no idea if it's doing anything for her scoliosis or preventing it from progressing but at least she's getting a good night's sleep. Shhhh....:yawn: :zzz: :D