I always enjoy reading the “President’s Message” from the NVF (National Vitiligo Foundation). Dr. Ray Boissy, the NVF president prepares this every quarter. The one issued last week was particularly interesting in that a high school student is the focus of the message. I think you’ll be surprised as you read on.
From the NVF President’s Message April 2011 <Click Here>
MEMBER NEWS: One great advantages of the NVF is connecting members in our community so they can help on another. A few months ago one of our members, Brendan Muha, a high school student doing research on Vitiligo for his science fair, contacted the National Vitiligo Foundation for assistance. His project was to correlate the occurrence of Vitiligo with various personal traits. This was actually a novel idea and his questionnaire was sent out to other NVF members. His questionnaire contained the following
1. What age are you?
2. What color hair do you have?
3. What color eyes do you have?
4. Are you left handed or right handed?
5. When did you develop vitiligo?
Brendon received a tremendous response from our membership and as a result he stated “The science fair was amazing I earned first place and qualified for the regional science fair. However, the research did not show any overwhelmingly obvious results. Vitiligo occurs equally among all patients no matter gene characteristics.” I personally would like to thank
Brendan for his pursuing this interesting project and brining awareness of Vitiligo to his school. I also like to thank the NVF members who sent in the questionnaire and provided information and support for Brendan. Below are his ABSTRACT & CONCLUSIONS.
ABSTRACT: Patients with Vitiligo usually don’t understand why they have contracted the disease. They don’t know what genetics or traits have played a role. Generally, Vitiligo is passed on from one generation to the next; however, it is sometimes contracted out of what seems to be nothing. This is considered a scientific anomaly. After this experiment, we still may not know the direct traits involved in Vitiligo. We hope that we will be able to see the certain traits involved in Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a disease that causes the loss of pigmentation and the addition of white spots to the skin. Vitiligo occurs all over the world in one percent of the human race. Yet, in a country like India Vitiligo is heavily researched because it has similar characteristics to those of leprosy. Individuals are cast out of society and are plagued with Vitiligo for their entire life. It has no cure and needs more research. Although Vitiligo occurs equally in the male and female sexes traits are still expected to play a role. The traits tested are the age of the candidate, the color hair, the color eyes, left, or right handed, and when vitiligo was developed. Data was received from the National Vitiligo Foundation and was used in this retrospective study. It was observed and specific data was gathered. The information we gathered are viewed on bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs for specific data. We hope to prove our hypothesis correct in that we will conclude that vitiligo is more apparent in certain traits.
CONCLUSION: The study yielded many results. In hair color, left and right-handedness the incidence of each matched that of the general population. However, in eye color the incidence of blue and green eyes among vitiligo patients was much greater among the vitiligo patients. Green and blue eyes contain less melanin, which produces pigment, or eye color. It is apparent there is a correlation between persons with vitiligo and persons with lighter eye color. Perhaps further study is warranted to determine whether eye color can predict this pigment disorder in the general population.
I think you’ll agree with me that Brendan has a bright future ahead of him.