One of the worst diagnoses a kid can get is scoliosis, or curvature of the spine.

Why? Simple: worry. Worry that one day the curve will become so severe, surgery will be needed to correct the curve. That means a lot of teens, and their parents, opt for the 23- hours a day prison sentence of wearing a brace to keep the curve from getting worse.

The problem is the vast majority of curves don’t get worse. An even bigger problem is predicting which will, and which will not. That’s why “playing it safe” tends to be the rule: into the brace you go.

Now to the rescue comes a genetic test called SCOLISCORE- your kid spits into a cup. the DNA is analyzed, and you can accurately predict 99% of the time when you need to use the brace (or to the relief of most, dont need to wear the brace.) The 99% figure comes from a large study in this month’s medical journal Spine.

The test uses 53 genetic calculations to predict which cases of spines will bend more– and as a result, there will now be an easier way to keep a youngster out of a bulky brace. Before this test, it was a lot of exams, xrays, and anxiety.

Here’s more info on the test:

– by Dr. Dave Hnida


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