NIH BrAIST Study Reaffirms Standard of Care for Scoliosis Patients and Physicians

Early Detection & Bracing Is Effective Treatment for At Risk Patients
BOSTON - Oct. 18, 2013 - PRLog -- - “The Jury is now in” states Stuart L. Weinstein, MD who recently published the results of his National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study titled BrAIST (Bracing in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Trial) in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Dr. Weinstein’s five year multi-centered trial showed that bracing prevented a curved spine from progressing to a surgical magnitude of 50 degrees in 72% of the treated patients, compared with only 48% for those patients untreated.  In summary, Dr. Weinstein concluded, "This study definitely shows braces work and are effective in preventing the need for surgery. Children who are at risk should be treated with a brace, and they should wear it at least 13 hours a day for it to be effective." Based upon the strength of the evidence for bracing efficacy the NIH Ethics Committee terminated the study in January.

Joe O’Brien, President of the National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF), welcomed the BrAIST results, stating, “Dr. Weinstein’s study offers help and hope to thousands of children and families affected by scoliosis and reaffirms our mission for early detection and treatment”. Parents have been confused by conflicting information in what they read or are told about bracing by various healthcare providers, which increases their concern about what to do for their child. The BrAIST study now helps to remove some of the nagging doubt parents have about treatment options.

“The BrAIST study provides the level of evidence physicians can depend upon to determine optimal care for their patients” states Steven D. Glassman, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon and President of the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS). Dr. Glassman shares many of his colleague’s views that bracing may reduce the number of patients who progress to surgery and serve as a potential cost saving for the health care system and of great benefit to patients.

There are approximately 25 million adolescents in the U.S., and one out of every forty will have abnormal curvatures of the spine due to scoliosis, which may worsen during their growth. Mr. O’Brien, who is also a post surgical patient and father of three children with scoliosis, emphasizes the need to find the problem in order to do something about it, “Early detection through screening is the key to finding children with scoliosis in time to prevent the worst effects by applying non operative treatments such as bracing when necessary”.

Dr. Glassman agrees with the need for early detection and highlights the importance of the recent study saying, “In the past, the value of a screening examination for scoliosis has been debated due to inconclusive evidence of the success of non-operative treatment for scoliosis. This is no longer true, as the evidence from the BrAIST study establishes the effectiveness of bracing as early, non-operative care.”

As a result of this new study, patients and physicians will work together to inform professional organizations and governmental agencies about the evidence provided by BrAIST as a standard of care for scoliosis.  Scoliosis awareness advocates will ask policy makers, such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, to reassess their statements regarding scoliosis screening in order to identify at-risk patients who will benefit from bracing treatment.

The Scoliosis Research Society is a non-profit, professional organization, made up of physicians and allied health personnel. Our primary focus is on providing continuing medical education for health care professionals and on funding/supporting research in spinal deformities. Founded in 1966, the SRS has gained recognition as the world's premier spine deformity society. Strict membership criteria ensure that the individual Fellows support that commitment. There are more than 1,200 members in 49 countries.

Please visit for further information.

The National Scoliosis Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non profit patient organization. Founded in 1976, our mission is to prevent the worst effects of scoliosis and related spinal deformities through early detection & treatment, awareness, education, and research. Information and support services are provided to help patients and families make critical health care decisions, in the hope of minimizing any physical, emotional and financial burdens. NSF’s online Forum Community is comprised of 8,700 registered members sharing their journey and communicating with one another to learn more about their condition.

Please visit  or Facebook for further information..

Source: » Follow
Email:*** Email Verified
Tags:Scoliosis, Bracing, Patient Care, Health, Adolescents
Industry:Health, Education, Medical
Location:Boston - Massachusetts - United States
Account Email Address Verified     Account Phone Number Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse
Page Updated Last on: Oct 19, 2013

Like PRLog?
Click to Share