Genetic etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)

Genetic etiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)

A ChiroSecure Research Update

Abstract: Recent studies have demonstrated there are genetic and epigenetic underlying causes for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). Apparently a genetic defect causing ciliary pathology in the neural canal can affect CSF flow and can result in scoliosis. A review of this emerging evidence demonstrates the need to re-evaluate the scoliosis-cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) relationship. Compelling studies have illustrated, as well, the dominant role played by epigenetic modifiers over the expression of genetic code. One fascinating study, in particular, has demonstrated definitively that scoliosis in zebra fish can be corrected through epigenetics.

Discussion: The goal of this study was to revisit the current and newly published studies concerning scoliosis, epigenetics, as well as evaluating the currently available therapeutic alternatives for scoliosis treatment. The intent was to shed light on breakthrough studies and apply these finding to the chiropractic clinical practice.

The position of chiropractic in this new arena of scoliosis and epigenetics is unfolding. These studies that were reviewed have demonstrated that chiropractic care can affect epigenetic mechanisms through five different avenues: environmental influences, methylation processes, elongating DNA telomeres, emotional stress reduction, and reducing chromosomal oxidative stress. Chiropractic management of scoliosis can be an effective tool for care, with minimal negative secondary effects. Recent studies are finding ineffectiveness of scoliosis bracing along with poor outcomes and serious secondary effects from surgical interventions for scoliosis treatment.

Conclusion: Therefore from a conservative, effective, low risk perspective chiropractic care appears to be an important consideration for scoliosis patients. Further study into this novel emerging field of care for scoliosis patients is indicated.

Reference: Weiner G, Blum C. Genetic aetiology of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS): Chiropractic’s role. Asia-Pac Chiropr J. 2022;3.1 URL