Scoliosis is an irregular curvature on the spine. But the reason behind its development is quite unknown – not until a group of researchers from Japan were able to determine the genetic reason behind its occurrence.

MedicalDaily helps us understand this physical phenomena.

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is the most common skeletal condition, and affects about two percent of the world population. Being “idiopathic” means that the causes behind were unknown – but Japan’s RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences and Keio University found the link between genes and the disorder.

In their recent study, they discovered the codes of BNC2 protein affects scoliosis development. The abundance of this protein can mean higher risks of developing scoliosis.

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Scoliosis can show a curve of the spine, either to the right or left, and in worst cases, there could be a double curve giving off an S-shape. This development usually starts by the age of 10 to the early teen years.

Boys and girls have equal chances to develop mild scoliosis – but girls have higher chances to develop it into severe cases. This leaves more girls to have corrective approaches for their scoliosis.

Having 10,000 volunteers, the team from RIKEN conducted research on their single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNP can replace cytosine with thymine in the DNA. These SNPS are located in the DNA between genes and acts as markers to find answers related to diseases.

With their team’s research, they found that SNP is located in the DNA that codes BNC2. This BNC2 is highly present on uterus, spinal cord, bone and cartilage.

The abundance of BNC2 is connected to the severe body curvature – or scoliosis. The excess in BNC2 starts at puberty, and are mostly present on females than on males.

With this understanding, scientists may be able to find solutions as to prevent it from happening, and how to cure this problem from the inside without the use of painful spinal braces.


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