Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/54288
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Type: Book chapter
Title: Etiologic theories of idiopathic scoliosis. Somatic nervous system and the NOTOM escalator concept as one component in the pathogenesis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
Author: Burwell, R.
Dangerfield, P.
Freeman, B.
Citation: Research into Spinal Deformities 6, 2008 / Dangerfield, P. (ed./s), pp.208-217
Publisher: IOS Press
Publisher Place: The Netherlands
Issue Date: 2008
Series/Report no.: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics ; 140
ISBN: 9781586038885
Statement of
Responsibility: 
R.G. Burwell, P.H. Dangerfield and B.J.C. Freeman
Abstract: There is no generally accepted scientific theory for the causes of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). In recent years encouraging advances thought to be related to the pathogenesis of AIS have been made in several fields. After reviewing concepts of AIS pathogenesis we formulated a collective model of pathogenesis. The central concept of this collective model is a normal neuro-osseous timing of maturation (NOTOM) system operating in a child's internal world during growth and maturation; this provides a dynamic physiological balance of postural equilibrium continuously renewed between two synchronous, polarized processes (NOTOM escalators) linked through sensory input and motor output, namely: 1) osseous escalator-increasing skeletal size and relative segmental mass, and 2) neural escalator – including the CNS body schema. The latter is recalibrated continuously as the body adjusts to biomechanical and kinematic changes resulting from skeletal enlargement, enabling it to coordinate motor actions. We suggest that AIS progression results from abnormality of the neural and/or osseous components of these normal escalators in time and/or space – as asynchrony and/or asymmetries – which cause a failure of neural systems to control asymmetric growth of a rapidly enlarging and moving adolescent spine. This putative initiating asymmetric growth in the spine is explained in separate papers as resulting from dysfunction of the hypothalamus expressed through the sympathetic nervous system (leptin-sympathetic nervous system concept for AIS pathogenesis). In girls, the expression of AIS may result from dysharmony between the somatic and autonomic nervous systems – relative postural maturational delay in the somatic nervous system and hypothalamic dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system, with the conflict being fought out in the spine and trunk of the girl and compounded by biomechanical spinal growth modulation.
Keywords: Skeleton; Spine; Central Nervous System; Autonomic Nervous System; Humans; Scoliosis; Disease Progression; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Risk Factors; Proprioception; Adolescent; Female
RMID: 0020084236
DOI: 10.3233/978-1-58603-888-5-208
Appears in Collections:Orthopaedics and Trauma publications

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