June is National Scoliosis Month: Ground Breaking New Test Available in Fort Collins to Predict the Progression of Scoliosis

Fort Collins, CO, June 23, 2010 --(PR.com)-- A new genetic test that predicts the likelihood of curve progression in patients diagnosed with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is available in the office of Dr. Michael Farrell and Dr. April Cardwell at the Spine Correction Center of the Rockies at 1101 Oakridge Drive, Suite A in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Researchers at Axial Biotech developed the Scoliscore Prognostic Test, which uses a patient’s saliva to identify 53 different genetic markers that have been shown in clinical trials to predict the likelihood of curve progression. The result of the Scoliscore Test serves is a guide for health care providers to optimize the treatment of scoliosis.

Criteria for using the Scoliscore Test are patients with newly diagnosed AIS between the ages of 9 and 13 years with a spinal curve of 10 to 25 degrees. Since a persons DNA does not change, the test is only given once. The Scoliscore Test has a 99% Negative Predictive Value. (A Negative Predictive Value refers to the probability that a patient with a negative test result is free of the condition for which the test was conducted.)

"The Scoliscore Test is a breakthrough that allows us to safely and effectively identify the genetic component that may play a role in scoliosis,” said Dr. Michael Farrell, co-owner at the Spine Correction Center in Fort Collins. “Scoliosis is a multi-factorial disease that is basically broken down into genetic and environmental factors. By understanding the genetic component, it allows us to guide treatment more effectively."

A scoliosis patient provides a saliva sample that is sent to Axial Biotech’s laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah. The results of the test are available in approximately 2 to 3 weeks with the results given to the patient by the health care provider that ordered the test. The score is set in a range from 1 to 200. The range is further broken into risk categories of low, intermediate and high. An individualized scoliosis treatment plan, can be developed by better understanding the likelihood of risk progression, provide by the Scoliscore Test. Many treatment options are available, including an Early Stage Scoliosis Intervention (ESSI) Protocol that was developed by the CLEAR Institute, a non-profit group from Minnesota.

Dr. Farrell further explains that, "For a patient that has a high Scoliscore, indicating a scoliosis condition that has a high genetic propensity, we may refer that patient to a spinal surgeon for a surgery consultation but still enroll them into an aggressive ESSI protocol. For patients who have a low Scoliscore, it means the patient has a low genetic propensity for progression. That effectively allows us to treat their condition via the environmental factors that also can cause scoliosis progression. It is important to note that both examples need their scoliosis treated, but their treatment protocols may be vastly different."

According to Axial Biotech, most insurance companies have been paying for cost of the Scoliscore Tests. Axial Biotech uses well-established molecular diagnostic CPT codes when billing for the Scoliscore Test. Insurance companies recognize these codes and have paid the vast majority of insurance claims. For patients with no insurance or limited income, help might be available through Axial Biotech’s SHARP Patient Assistance Program. Information about financial help for patient’s families to pay for Scoliscore Tests can be found on their web site at www.axialbiotech.com or by calling (877) 742-7710.

Scoliosis is a condition that occurs in about 4.5 percent of the population (about 5 people out of 100) and occurs more often in women than men. Scoliosis occurs when the spine of the back forms a C or an S shaped curve. A few symptoms of scoliosis are back pain, leg pain, hip pain, and altered walking gait. The condition is often first diagnosed between the ages of 9 and 15. About 9 out of 10 cases of scoliosis are idiopathic, meaning the precise cause is not known.

About Axial Biotech
Axial Biotech is a privately held company founded in 2002 by a group of internationally recognized spine surgeons and geneticists. Axial Biotech is focused on developing and commercializing genetic tests and treatment solutions for spinal disorders.

About Spine Correction Center of the Rockies
The Spine Correction center of the Rockies was founded by Dr. Michael Farrell. Dr. Farrell received a Bachelor of Science from Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colorado majoring in Business Administration with minors in Science and Management with an emphasis in Leadership Studies, Outdoor Leadership, and Biblical Studies. In June of 2006 Dr. Farrell completed his professional education at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He has traveled to India to provide humanitarian natural health care to people there. He resides in Fort Collins.

Press Contacts
Spine Correction Center of the Rockies (970) 226-1117
Axial Biotech, Inc. (801) 984-9100
Concierge Public Relations, LLC - Bob Betts (515) 720-3615 (for media availability for Dr. Farrell)

Spine Correction Center of the Rockies
Dr. Michael Farrell
(970) 226-1117