Change in MS ratio

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Change in MS ratio

Postby TwistedHelix » Fri Apr 27, 2007 7:43 am

The different rates of MS in men and women has always seemed to me to contain important clues about the origin of the disease. That ratio has changed dramatically over the years, and the difference has become even more pronounced, so maybe the clues might become a little bit more obvious:

Contact: Angela Babb
ababb@aan.com <mailto:ababb@aan.com>
651-695-2789
American Academy of Neurology <http://www.aan.com/press>
Over time, more women are developing MS than men
BOSTON -- Over time, more women are developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than men, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 - May 5, 2007.
In 1940, the ratio of women to men with MS in the United States was approximately two to one. By 2000, that ratio had grown to approximately four to one.
"That's an increase in the ratio of women to men of nearly 50 percent per decade," said study author Gary Cutter, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. "We don't yet know why more women are developing MS than men, and more research is needed."
Cutter said researchers will need to explore multiple changes that have occurred for women over the last several decades, including the use of oral contraceptives, earlier menstruation, obesity rates, changes in smoking rates, and later age of first births.
"We also need to ask the general questions about what women do differently than men, such as use of hair dye and use of cosmetics that may block vitamin D absorption," he said. "At this point we're just speculating on avenues of research that could be pursued."
Cutter said the largest increase in the ratio has been for those whose MS started at younger ages.
For the study, researchers examined a database (the North American Research Committee On Multiple Sclerosis, or NARCOMS, hosted at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz.) of 30,336 people with MS and determined the male/female ratio according to the year the disease was diagnosed and the age of the person when the disease started.
###
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2007
Media Contact:
Robin Stinnett, (651) 695-2763, rstinnett@aan.com <mailto:rstinnett@aan.com>
AAN Press Room HCC 203 (April 28 - May 4): (617) 954-3126
The study was supported by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of over 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and stroke.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com <http://www.aan.com>.
Editor's Note: Dr. Cutter will present this research during a scientific poster session at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2, 2007, in Exhibit Hall A of the Hynes Convention Center.

<http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php>

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Re: Change in MS ratio

Postby HarryZ » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:17 am

Dom,

Another alarming statistic is the increase in the rate of MS now being found in children. I can't remember the numbers in the US but 25,000 confirmed cases of child MS seems to stick out!! I'm sure part of that increase is better diagnostic methods but even so, it's amazing to see this kind of increase.

The Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto saw so many new MS cases in kids that they now have an MS Clinic! You wonder just what is going on.

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Re: Change in MS ratio

Postby Lyon » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:17 am

TwistedHelix wrote:The different rates of MS in men and women has always seemed to me to contain important clues about the origin of the disease. That ratio has changed dramatically over the years, and the difference has become even more pronounced, so maybe the clues might become a little bit more obvious:
Hi Dom,
Things seem to be almost the complete opposite for me. I feel comfortable that I've explained to my satisfaction the reason for the incidence of these inflammatory diseases but continue to be at a loss regarding the female sex bias seen in most of them and I have no idea why per capita incidence seems to continue to rise years after the loss of "evolutionary normal conditions.

It might be nothing more than a matter of convinience on my part but I've convinced myself the female bias and increasing incidence don't have anything to do with the origins and that reasons behind these thing will become evident later in research :oops:

To show how complicated this thing can be, this months Journal of Neuroimmunology has an article titled "Multiple sclerosis and anti-Plasmodium falciparum innate immune response" in which the authors seem to take for granted that the loss of evolutionary normal conditions led to the incidence of MS and seems to additionally question whether genetically evolved host inhospitality to the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which is a malaria vector, might have led to increased MS incidence in Sardinia, Italy.......I think, but it's getting towards the edge of my understanding!

Bob

Abstract

Several epidemiological investigations conducted in Sardinia,insular Italy, indicate that the strong selective pressure of malaria along the centuries may have concurred to the elevated genetic MS-risk in this region. To test such hypothesis in an experimental setting, we have compared the immune response to P. falciparum (the causative agent of malaria) in Sardinian MS patients relative to their ethnic healthy controls and control MS patients of different ethnicity. To this purpose, the P. falciparum-driven peripheral mononuclear cell proliferation, the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines of the innate immunity such as TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-12 and the ability to inhibit the parasite growth have been tested in relation to HLA-DR alleles and TNF promoter polymorphisms known of being associated to MS.

We found that P. falciparum-induced proliferation, cytokine production and parasite killing are significantly augmented in Sardinian MS patients as compared to controls (p < 0.01). Additionally, a correlation is found with genes associated to Sardinian MS, namely the TNF− 376A promoter polymorphism and the class II HLA-DRB1low asterisk0405 allele. In conclusion, we have found evidences that some genetic traits formerly selected to confer a protective responses to P. falciparum now partially contribute to the elevated MS susceptibility amongst Sardinians.
Last edited by Lyon on Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby syckbastid » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:18 am

I blame it all on rap music videos.
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Postby gwa » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:54 am

Rap music videos could be the cause, sb.

Another theory is that women are becoming better educated and are less willing to have doctors classify their symptoms as neurotic, hypochondria, stress or anxiety related.

Maybe we are just getting properly diagnosed now.

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Postby Lyon » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:11 pm

gwa wrote:Another theory is that women are becoming better educated and are less willing to have doctors classify their symptoms as neurotic, hypochondria, stress or anxiety related.

Maybe we are just getting properly diagnosed now.
Hi gwa,
I hope that's the case. That explanation sure would make things easier to understand!
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Postby Wonderfulworld » Fri Apr 27, 2007 12:35 pm

I'm sure it's feminism. That's what it is.
Us getting the vote and all, and working outside the home more and having a say in society.
Must be feminism.
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Postby Lyon » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:57 pm

Gosh, that's kind of a crummy trade for women!

I didn't realize it when I was younger but before she got alzheimer's my Mom was a very smart person. She really disliked Gloria Steinem and the feminist movement.

As a guy it was understandable that I didn't want women in the workplace because....it involved a change, but I couldn't understand what a woman would dislike about feminism, so I asked her.

She was convinced, and I have to agree, that in the days when only the husband worked, prices were based on one income households. Prices are based on what the market will bare.

When women increasingly entered the job force, suppliers raised prices accordingly because familes had more income and the market would bare higher prices. Now even though both parents are working their standard of living is just about what it was in the 1950's with just the husband working. One parent working is no longer a financial option thanks to Gloria Steinem and the femist movement. :?

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:59 am

Ehhhhhhhhhhh....Bob I was joking...........I am an ardent feminist........maybe you know that, hard to pick up tone of voice on the internet!!

I don't think the standard of living with 2 parents working is the same as 1950's with one parent working. Your Mum sounds like a real thinker, and maybe market forces increased because of higher disposable incomes - its a possibility, but I don't think feminism can be blamed for giving women options in their lives. Also people make choices to have a certain level of income....I kniow in my case if dh and I had a child, I could stay in the home, but it would involve sacrificing holidays, eating out, etc. It is a choice for many people. Poverty is very relative. I also may choose to have a career after having children, I don't know yet.

I have studied a lot of history, especially social history, and really there were only short periods where it was the norm that women worked only in the home. And also it was more the norm in certain social classes. I know amongst my relatives my Gran was the main breadwinner as my Grandad had a seriuos accident at work, and all my 5 great -aunts had trades/jobs too (lens grinders, munitions workers, dressmaker, nanny, french-polisher etc.). I think after the wars there was a huge push on to get women back into thte home and reclaim the paid employment purely for men.

Before this gets tooooooo heated, I'm just going to say I beg to differ on the point and maybe we better get back to talking about MS!!!!!
I know of few more explosive topics than discussing feminism, abortion, religion and politics................
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Postby syckbastid » Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:56 am

Rap music videos, I tell you.
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Postby Lyon » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:25 am

Hi WW,

Nah, I'm not an anti-feminist. I was just sharing what I thought was an interesting observation.

Personally, I've had the anti-feminism burnt right out of me. My wife makes double what I do.

That would offend the masculinity of some guys but the higher standard of living we enjoy keeps my masculinity at bay.

When the kids were younger she did mention that I should stay home and be a "house husband" but that would have pushed the issue too far.....although it would have been nice to be able to watch "The Price Is Right" everyday :lol:

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Postby Wonderfulworld » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:48 am

Haha Bob!, you just gotta go with that higher standard of living alright! :lol:

I think if we have kids my dh should stay home, he's a lot better with babies than I am, but dammit, he earns twice what I do, so that wouldn't make a lot of sense :(
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Postby TwistedHelix » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:41 am

WW:
...WHAT?!...Women are allowed to vote now? When did this happen and why wasn't I told? :lol:

gwa:
doctors classify their symptoms as neurotic, hypochondria, stress or anxiety related.

Maybe we are just getting properly diagnosed now

That's a truly appalling attitude on behalf of some doctors which I hope is dying out, but do you think it would have skewed the figures to look more like a later onset in women rather than different totals? I mean, if a woman was dismissed at first as neurotic, but then repeatedly presented with worsening symptoms, the diagnosis would come much later than it should have done, but it would still be arrived at in the end and count in the overall figures?

Bob:
As you know, I'm already pretty convinced by your ideas and research about environmental parasites, but what is it that's convinced you that the sex bias is not related to MS? Obviously, nobody knows at the moment, but the large and widening gap between men and women just seems to me like it might be relevant to at least the disease process, if not the entire aetiology of the disease.
I'm just completely wondering out loud here: but what if a woman's immune system, in all its complexity but with the additional burden of having to tolerate an alien invader for nine months at a time, simply reacted in a more extreme way to the loss of environmentally normal parasites? I know that doesn't even begin to explain the differences between men and women with MS, but as I said: just wondering.
Syck:
Rap "artists" can't even spell properly... they've missed the "C" off.
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Postby Lyon » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:29 am

First off Dom, I want to point out that you continue to amaze me due to the fact that even though I'm not great at documenting the points I try to make, you always seem to exactly understand what I'm getting at.
TwistedHelix wrote:
As you know, I'm already pretty convinced by your ideas and research about environmental parasites, but what is it that's convinced you that the sex bias is not related to MS?
I'll have to go back and read what I said but without a doubt I DO think that sex bias is related to MS.
Lyon wrote:I feel comfortable that I've explained to my satisfaction the reason for the incidence of these inflammatory diseases but continue to be at a loss regarding the female sex bias seen in most of them
OK, the best I can explain it is that I'm convinced that the loss of "evolutionary normal conditions", which includes the loss of human parasites, directly led to the incidence of "autoimmune diseases". Unlike any other theory, in six years of obsessing with this I've yet to come across any square pegs I've had to force into round holes BUT I've also never been able to use this theory to answer the reasons for sex bias or to explain why incidence seems to continue to increase despite the fact that internal human parasites have, for the most part, been extinct in the continental US since the 1960's or 1970's. To some degree it seems we're no longer talking about the generation of humans which was alive when the parasites became extinct but possibly several generations later. I can understand the continuing succeptibility to autoimmune disease, but not increasing incidence.

It seems to me the sex bias is obviously genetics and genetic succeptibility, not beyond my interest but beyond my understanding. The continuing increasing incidence and shifting sex bias, to my way of thinking, is owed to statistics and as WW mentioned, vagaries in detection and diagnosis.

Hopefully that explains my way of thinking but if not, please let me know.

It's uncertain whether I'm a fool or a genius, but either way, I'm glad someone understands me!

Bob
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Postby gwa » Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:39 pm

TH,

The main point to me is that it does not matter what the % of men is to women. There is obviously a hormonal effect at play. How much of a part it plays in one getting MS is unknown at this point.

I just don't want millions of $$$ spent in the next 100 years trying to figure out why women are getting MS more now than they did in the previous 100 years. Big deal, so what??

Spend the $$$ trying to cure the damn disease, not continue taking off on tangents that don't lead to knowledge that will really help us.

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