Etiopathogenesis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: Review of the literature and new epigenetic hypothesis on altered neural crest cells migration in early embryogenesis as the key event.

Medical Hypotheses
Alla M ZaydmanVladimir M Subbotin

Abstract

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) affects 2-3% of children. Numerous hypotheses on etiologic/causal factors of AIS were investigated, but all failed to identify therapeutic targets and hence failed to offer a cure. Therefore, currently there are only two options to minimize morbidity of the patients suffering AIS: bracing and spinal surgery. From the beginning of 1960th, spinal surgery, both fusion and rod placement, became the standard of management for progressive adolescent idiopathic spine deformity. However, spinal surgery is often associated with complications. These circumstances motivate AIS scientific community to continue the search for new etiologic and causal factors of AIS. While the role of the genetic factors in AIS pathogenesis was investigated intensively and universally recognized, these studies failed to nominate mutation of a particular gene or genes combination responsible for AIS development. More recently epigenetic factors were suggested to play causal role in AIS pathogenesis. Sharing this new approach, we investigated scoliotic vertebral growth plates removed during vertebral fusion (anterior surgery) for AIS correction. In recent publications we showed that cells from the convex side of human scol...Continue Reading

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