1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
Nitric oxide and its possible implication in ME/CFS (Part 2 of 2)
Andrew Gladman explores the current and historic hypotheses relating to nitric oxide problems in ME/CFS. This second article in a 2-Part series puts nitric oxide under the microscope and explores what it is, what it does and why it is so frequently discussed in the world of ME/CFS....
Discuss the article on the Forums.

Childhood Physical Abuse Linked To Arthritis, Study Finds

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by ggingues, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

    Messages:
    581
    Likes:
    5
    pluto
    'We found that 10.2 per cent of those with osteoarthritis reported they had been physically abused as children in comparison to 6.5 per cent of those without osteoarthritis," says lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson of U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine. "This study provides further support for the need to investigate the possible role that childhood abuse plays in the development of chronic illness."

    Am I reading this right? so a 4% difference between people that are ill, and people that aren't, is proof of a causative effect of child abuse for ppl wth ill with oesteoarthritis?

    Am I reading it wrong. Should this 4% be relevant to anything.
  2. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    Perhaps being in pain makes you recall/focus more on bad things in your life while other people might forget it.

    As I think I said in this thread already, since becoming ill I'm recalling relatively minor things that happened me before I got sick that weren't going through my head when I was well.

    Anyway maybe it is a factor with Osteoarthritis. But they haven't proved it plays much of a factor with ME/CFS because of the empiric/Reeves criteria that were used.
  3. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    55
    Hi Aussie Woman,

    I agree with you that prolonged stress contributes to illness and that children would be particularly vulnerable to the effects given they are developing or building their bodies.

    However, that being the case, if ME/CFS represents some special vulnerability beyond other illnesses, then the highest incidents of ME should be found among children of war. There certainly should have been a huge upswing in ME/CFS following the second world war in Europe, among children who were in camps or withstood the Blitz, etc., and in other places around the world up to and including Congo today.

    The profiles put forth in various studies looking at this illness has described everything from people who are spoiled (Yuppie Flu) to people who are abused. This tendency to look at us and ask what is wrong with our lives and our character before asking what is wrong with our body has not served us.

    I think prolonged stress contributes negatively to all illness states and I think that has been proven to be the case in many studies over many years. We are no different.

    peace out,
    k
  4. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes:
    5,432
    Traumatic events during early childhood can affect people's development in all manner of ways. Apparently children whose mothers had gone through a significantly stressful event while pregnant are also more likely to develop certain physical and genetic abnormalities.

    Child abuse will undoubtedly be a psychological strain, but biological alterations can occur too. Any link between child abuse and certain illnesses could occur because of either biological or psychological factors, and it really worries me that some researchers don't seem to realise this.
  5. Katie

    Katie Guest

    Do you have any further info on this?

    Thanks, Katie
  6. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

    Messages:
    1,508
    Likes:
    42
    Santa Rosa, CA
    we love geeks

    We love geeks. At least I love geeks.

    You are contributing something important and needed here and I hope you continue to bring our attention to what is "statistically significant proof." Even if you have to repeat yourself or repeat this post. I, at least, want to hear it and be reminded of it.

    On the other hand, I became curious about the link between trauma and chronic illness (specifically ME/CFS and FM) because every member of the small support group I facilitated had significant childhood abuse (with the exception of myself — I had an early traumatic medical experience). Of course this is not statistically significant and raises more questions than it answers. But it did make me curious. And if someone does have issues of PTSD or symptoms of complex trauma along with chronic illness, I think it can be helpful to treat both.
  7. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    55
    Me too! That analysis nearly made me swoon!

    More, please!

    :p
  8. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    If you or anyone else wants the full paper, send me a private message with your E-mail address.

    I'll be quite happy to hear about flaws. They calculated odd ratios and the 95% confidence intervals didn't cover 1 i.e. were statistically significant.
  9. flybro

    flybro Senior Member

    Messages:
    581
    Likes:
    5
    pluto
    Yep it's about as relevant as diddly squat.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I'm not a stats bod and it pee'd me off a tad.
  10. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    I'm not sure you would have to have all those pieces of data to come to a conclusion.

    Perhaps if you wanted to use the data in clinical practice, one might then do further studies. One might then find that within the data, further information would be revealed.

    For example, one might find that one instance didn't produce an increased risk or had a much smaller increased risk than repeated abuse. Or one might find the opposite and that it wasn't "dose dependent".

    Similarly with regard to personality.

    As I say, I'll send anyone who wants it the paper and they can come to their own conclusions. It wouldn't even be to late to write a letter to the editor. I've had 6 published in just over a year and it'd be great if other people were writing letters to the editor - I started writing them as virtually no "letters to the editor" are going in challenging articles.
  11. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes:
    55
    Now Tom's making me swoon!

    I'm so easy :p
  12. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,254
    Likes:
    5,432
    Sorry, but I can't find the article I read that in. A quick search revealed this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7226467.stm which only mentions brain development.

    The piece I most clearly remember reading was more generally about the way some genes can seemingly be switched on and off in response to environmental factors, I think from The Economist. The research into this occuring during pregnancy was only a small part of the article.

    Google: site:economist.com environment genes switch for a list of bits and pieces, but a lot of it is pay only. This is the one I thought was most relevent:

    Epigenetics

    Silencing of the lambs
    May 8th 2008
    From The Economist print edition

    Abuse in childhood may change the way genes work


    A FEW years ago, researchers in Montreal produced a disturbing finding. By the simple act of neglecting her young, a mother rat could permanently change the expression of genes in her offspring. Dams that licked their pups only infrequentlythe rat equivalent of bad maternal caresent their little ones off into the world with a more anxious disposition than rats with dams that had lavished care on them. What is more, this lack of attention, the researchers discovered, had chemically altered a gene controlling an important stress hormone.

    It was a striking case of how nurture affects nature. And it made the researchers curious about whether the same could be happening in humans. Now, by studying the brains of suicide victims, they have begun to explore that question.

    The field they are investigating is known as epigenetics. This is the interface between our genes, which are fixed, and our environment, which is ever-changing. Although people are born with a complement of genes that they are stuck with for life, those genes can be switched on and offand this can make a world of difference. All the more harrowing, then, that simple things like dietary supplements and stress have been shown capable of throwing the switch.

    Moshe Szyf and his colleagues at McGill University knew that around a fifth of people who die by their own hand suffered abuse in childhood. They found 13 such people whose brains had been donated to science, as well as the brains of 11 people who had died in accidents and had had normal happy childhoods. They compared the two groups.

    Dr Szyf and his team looked at a gene that codes for ribosomal RNA, which helps control the manufacture of proteins. Protein synthesis is essential to the brain if it is going to generate new connectionsin the process of learning something, say, or remembering it. They were especially interested in a part of the brain, the hippocampus, which is known to be influential in mood.

    Genes get switched off when a chemical mark, a methyl group, is added to the DNA. When they examined these genes in the hippocampus, they discovered that, in the suicide group, many more of them had been methylated, or switched off; frozen assets, says Dr Szyf. In another part of the brain, the cerebellum, however, which is not involved in mood, there were no differences in the levels of methylation between the two groups. This suggests that the hypermethylation in the suicide group was not just a general difference, says Dr Szyf, but rather a response to something specific, such as abuse suffered in childhood. They published their findings this week in Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE, an open-access scientific journal.

    The research raises two big questions. Can altered methylation patterns be somehow detected in blood samples? Dr Szyf thinks so. He wonders if there may be clues in T cells, which are involved in immunity and which regularly communicate with the brain.

    More important, though, if abuse in early life has caused hypermethylation, is whether there is any way to undo it. An intervention could be social, he says, or nutritional, or with drugs. Dr Szyf is hopeful: in the rats, at least, they were able to intervene and turn things around.
  13. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    Now there's a study which, in the article, shows no statistical evidence that it was the abuse in childhood that caused the problems. And the sample sizes are so small it seems doubtful the results could reach statistical significance especially when abuse in childhood in the general population isn't that uncommon.

    They found hypermethylation but they really don't know what started it. Maybe there is more evidence in the full paper and from the field that makes the claim have more substance. The brain problems could have happened after the depression hit.
  14. Katie

    Katie Guest

    Thank you Esther12, the BBC article made for interesting reading. Pregnancy stress was my main interest, I was aware it can alter the amniotic fluid so it would not be too much of a stretch to say that it could have some form of lasting effect. I'm still sceptical on statistical correlations when there are so many variables over a life time but it never hurts to read and learn.
  15. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    Looking closely at it, they haven't proven it.

    For example, childhood abuse might mean that people were more likely to have an unhealthy lifestyle and it was the unhealthy lifestyle that was the mediating factor. And changing the unhealthy lifestyle could prevent the physical problems.
  16. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    Yes, well I believe that has clearly happened with the two CDC studies which used the empiric/Reeves definition.
  17. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes:
    5,503
    Yes, but we are also interested in this current discussion in this thread and I thought it would be worthwhile to point out that that the study about brain samples hadn't proved much, and that there was an alternative explanation with regard to the brain samples. I agree more research might be interesting.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page