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#107172 - 07/09/03 10:15 AM Re: atretic
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
That is what I am asking. Spina bifida seems, to me at any rate, to be much less reported on or discussed than it used to be. Is that because it's less common or just because people want to talk about something else?

Bingley
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#107173 - 07/09/03 10:39 AM Re: atretic
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear Bingley and WW: I searched for "incidence spina bifida"
and got a link to a big bungh of links about the problem.
It also says CDC collects data, but I couldn't find a tidy
easy to comprehend graph. I can't read well enough to wade through these. Perhaps you can find something useful at:
http://www.noah-health.org/english/illness/neuro/spinabif.html


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#107174 - 07/11/03 06:28 PM Re: atretic
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
spina bifida, is one of those genetic defects that seems to have an "an affinity" for certain ethnic/racial groups, and it is much more common in Northern europeans, specifically, irish, english, german, dutch, and scandinavian heritage.

there is some evidence that the same virus that caused the potato failure, can cause genetic damage in humans, that leads to increased spina bifida (but i don't think was proven)-- and certainly the groups most effected tend to be 'potato eaters'- both in europe & US

there is now an inutero test for SB, and two things happen, one, when SB is detected, the pregnancy is terminated, or there is also a inutrero operation that can graft skin into the area, and reduce the major problems associated with spina bifida.

One problems that SB causes, is beacuse of the open end of the spinal cord, there is a causes lose of spinal fluid, and presure, which results in the brain slidding too far back in the skull, (and moving into spinal cord space in effect, not remaining fully in the skull)this movement of the brain causes other problems.

the surgery prevents this, and reduces some the other nerve damage that occurs (by providing at least a covering of skin for spinal cord). later surgeries can further reduce the damage, so that many children born with the defect today, don't have mis-shaped skulls, don't need shunts (the brain moving into the spinal space collapes ducts for spinal fluid, so external shunts were needed) have much less brain damage(often none), and less spinal cord damage, so the few children that are born with the condition are pretty normal looking, and often have 80 to 95% fuction of the their lower limbs. in the "worst cases" with the in utero surgeries, they kids usually still end up being able to walk, (with braces and crutches) their life expectancy is also improved.

I exect you hear less, because there are fewer ethinic groups with a history of potato eating members in your area, and testing and early treatment has resulted in few births with the defect, or noticable effects of the defect.

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#107175 - 07/12/03 07:53 AM Re: atretic
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Very interesting informatiion, of troy.

So, from what you've written, I gather that termination of pregnancies is a factor in why we may hear less about the incidence of spina bifida--and that does make sense.

The potato-eating theory--heavens! Here in my neck of the woods potato-eating is as common as water-drinking.


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#107176 - 07/12/03 08:40 AM Re: atretic
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I am very skeptical about those reports of diseases being associated with diet. I don't see how they exclude the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.


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#107177 - 07/12/03 09:29 AM Re: atretic
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
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Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Ergo, wwh, my "heavens!"


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#107178 - 07/12/03 09:57 AM Re: atretic
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
When my daughter in law was pregnant, CA requires a host of genetic test, and she came back positive for one.. but it was a test know to have a high percentage of false positives- she waited and worried till the sonigram in her seventh month made it clear the baby didn't have any problems.. for some time we discussed different test, and options.. and i learned a good deal about her test, and others.. SB can be detected and if it is, a percentage of pregnancies get terminated.

i have second cousin's who have phenyleketonuria-- the disease that is always being warned about on Equal and other 'blue' artifical sweeteners. it too is genetic, but it is only test for post birth.

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#107179 - 07/12/03 02:41 PM worth emphasizing
wofahulicodoc Offline
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Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4988
Loc: Worcester, MA
If I'm not mistaken (and I could be; I'm a cardiologist, not a _____ologist) spina bifida is one of a class of developmental problems called "neural tube defects" and can be prevented, or at least minimized, if mother-to-be gets enough folic acid; this could well be the connection to diet. People who are malnourished, or who take too much alcohol, or who eat fad diets, are more susceptible than the general population to folate deficiency, and pregnant women need enough for two, which is the reason folic acid is an obligatory component of pre-natal vitamins.

See http://www.spinabifida.org/genetics.htm, from Dr. Bill's site/citation above; start a couple of paragraphs down.

Later on in life folate can be important for preventing nutritional anemia, and it's also prescribed with the hope of bringing down a high "homocysteine" level, thereby (maybe) giving a modicum of protection against coronary artery disease.


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#107180 - 07/12/03 03:04 PM Re: worth emphasizing
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Here's a URL with a lot of information about folic acid.
http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/681_1151.asp


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#107181 - 07/13/03 01:28 PM Re: worth emphasizing
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
So, back to potatoes. It could be that people whose diets were largely potato diets--without the benefit of other food sources--would be those potato diet victims of whom of troy was writing. Perhaps it wasn't the potatoes per se, but the limited diet itself. That would make sense here.


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