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MS coincedence?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Mij, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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  2. Chrisb

    Chrisb Senior Member

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    Coincidence is one of those tricky words.

    Does it mean the absence of a proven connection or the proven absence of a connection?
     
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  3. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    Canada also seems to have the highest incidence of ME according to the govt's stats.
     
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  4. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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  5. lnester7

    lnester7 Seven

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    I would look at vaccination Records,
    Water additives/ water report of the time.
    Any special health reports / outbreaks of fungus or bacteria.....
    Any kind of fumigation / pesticides.
     
  6. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    Canada has more than 400,000 ME patients, a higher rate than all other countries as far as I'm aware.

    Similarly, Canada has the highest MS rates.

    Its a curious coincidence if the govt's stats are correct.
     
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  7. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    This is fascinating but obviously not for the patients. I was unaware of the statistics behind cluster and coincidence and how complicated it can be as there are so many factors known and unknown that go into figuring this out.

    Maybe it's like the lottery. The odds are that someone, somewhere at some time will win. So the odds are that an event like this can happen.

    It would be interesting to see if they do follow up research.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
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  8. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    Here's an article about clusters of MS. No definitive results nor caustive links but some interesting theories.

    In one community the only common factor was dirt dug up and given away free, when a cemetery was moved. Then a school gymnasium was built at the site of the former cemetary.

    Thought that might pique some interest.

    Ew.
     
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  9. JohnCB

    JohnCB Immoderate

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    I am not here to speculate either way whether this situation is based on a common cause. I am thinking about this from the other side. What would you expect to see happening by chance? Random systems do throw up clusters. You can, if you have sufficient data, look at the apparent clusters and calculate whether you are seeing more clusters than chance. One cluster on its own tells you nothing. The fact that kids in the street contract the same illness may be due to common cause or it may be simple random bad luck. If you are there on the ground and you understand what might cause such illnes, then you can look whether there is a causative factor.

    We often misunderstand chance. "Number 27 came up in the last three draws of the lottery." People will see this and decide to avoid the number (that is if they throw their money at such things. In a typical lottery you might expect to get back half the money you stake. I don't "play" the national lottery). Chance says that if you toss a coin and you get tails, on the next throw you will have a 50-50 chance of heads/tails on the next toss. If you have tossed tails 3 times in a row, the chance on the next toss is still 50-50. If you have tossed tails 10 times in a row, the chance on the next toss is still 50-50.

    If you keep getting tails, then you might get suspicious that the coin is biased, but 10 in a row is not in itself non-random. Neither is 20 or 30 or 40. But if someone bets you in advance that they will toss 10 heads in a row, I would suspect they had a biased coin. But if you keep tossing a coin you will get all sorts of interesting patterns.

    In a big place like Canada, you can expect patterns popping up. Nobody writes to the paper saying "We haven't had a cluster here". Even if they did, would it get published? I don't know enough about MS to know if there is a infectious or environmental factor that might cause clusters. But it can be simple bad luck too.
     
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  10. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    I think that's part of the problem. Nobody really knows everything about MS or what may or may not cause it. Such clusters could be random or not. Statisticians will say things like "This pattern is highly unlikely to be random" or "highly likely to be random" rather than "this pattern is definitely random" or "definitely not random".

    The example of the coin toss does illustrate probability over a fairly simple process but the fact is we do not know if the causes of MS are random or not and cases like this could point to a strong likelihood that they are not always random distributions.

    There was a case of an office in Australia where over a period of time all of the women who worked in a certain part of the building developed breast cancer. It was never determined why but the area was eventually shut down because the pattern was so unlikely to be random that it was considered a health and safety risk.

    I agree with you that it's all an unknown but the societal norm has been to discount the experience of ill people and I think we all have seen how that plays out as ME patients.
     
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  11. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    @JohnCB
    Another example of what you are saying is the misconception that playing the same numbers every time you buy a lottery ticket ups your chances of winning. The reality is that any combination of numbers have the same chance of being a winner. That seems counterintuitive so you can see why people think picking the same ones numbers ups your chances of winning..

    I remember a statistics professor saying your chances of winner the lottery only improves a slightly, if you actually buy the lottery ticket. I'm not sure if he was being facetious or not.

    @TiredSam likes things like this.

    Is this too off topic?

    http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/62485.html
     
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  12. cmt12

    cmt12 Senior Member

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    There's your answer. The doctor(s) in this city are more prone to give out the MS diagnosis.
     
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  13. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @cmt12 could you elaborate?
     
  14. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    @barbc56 The lottery is like the coin toss example. It explains how probability works over a controlled process that we know to be random. The question of whether a complex real issue like MS clustering is in fact random or not is sort of a different issue. I'm not saying you're wrong, just it's a different type of issue.
     
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  15. cmt12

    cmt12 Senior Member

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    ME/CFS and other chronic illnesses can look like early onset MS. A doctor in that city is probably biased toward giving an MS diagnosis. The article had no current updates on half the group to see if they still had an MS diagnosis. They don't publish that reports when there appears to be a cluster and then it's later found to be a diagnosis issue.
     
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  16. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Senior Member

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  17. barbc56

    barbc56 Senior Member

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    You are right. I think it's referred as an open vs. closed system, but don't if that's the right terminology for this. It might ne finite vs infinite systems.

    I mentioned there may be unknown factors which make distinguishing clusters vs coincidence quite difficult.

    However, it could have been easily missed as I ended up getting sidetracked by some of the fun facts of stastics.:rolleyes:

    Its kind of like hard sciences such as physics vs.soft sciences like psychology. In the soft sciences there are more unknown factors as many are nebulous. This may make any conclusions from studies not as valid as compared to the hard sciences where the variables are more concrete. But then it's all relative.

    I think one thing that's also worth mentioning and that's correlation is not always causation,
     
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  18. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    The words "brand new neighborhood" make me wonder about out-gassing from new building materials, like paint and synthetic carpeting - especially in an area that experiences cold winters - which would presumably lead to tightly "sealed up" houses with less "fresh air" and a higher concentration of "volatile" substances.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  19. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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    i thought this was fibro?

    i read years ago that japan has the highest rates of CFS and that they even had a church for CFS patients!

    one theory about northern climates and MS rates is lack of sunlight/vit D

    of course, this wouldnt explain the cluster.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  20. Daffodil

    Daffodil Senior Member

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