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Hi folks

Further to my post about telepathy and coincidence. I’ve just realised there must be an MS hot spot where I live, I can think of at least 10 people who live within a square mile of my home and have MS. Most of these people do not belong to my MS Branch, this now includes my former next door neighbour. There are probably many others that I don’t know of.

Can’t think why this part of Kent has so many MSs other than the town has had paper mills for the past 100 years, or could it be the fact that we live near water and it is known to be a damp foggy atmosphere here.

Wendy x

Hi, I live on a road with 15 bungalows. 6 pairs of semis and 3 detached.

Now some people would say that bungalows are mainly where older people live, so you could expect the death rate to be quite high.

BUT

none of the residents were old when they moved here.

I was only 36 myself and am now 60.

BUT

this road has seen 10 cancers, 3 brain tumours, 1 case of lupus, my mystery illness, there have been heart attacks too, but these can be caused by other reasons.

My point is this, when we moved here, there was an asbestos tip and an electricity power station closeby. Both have since been demolished.

One neighbour has done nationwide surveys and found that cancers are often found where housing is close to both those sites.

Interesting, eh?

pollx

Yes Polly it does make you wonder? It did make we wonder when I met up with a school friend at an MS meeting, she used to sit right behind me at secondary school. I assumed that was a coincidence.

Thanks for your reply Poll

Wendy x

Well, it is always possible that there is an underlying cause at work.

But I think it more likely that your ‘cluster’ just looks that way because of our natural tendency to assume that random stuff is spread much more evenly across a population than it usually is. Stuff tends to be less evenly distributed than we expect it to be, and far more lumpy. My understanding is that pretty much everyone, when asked to put 1000 dots in a big square while trying to make them look random, comes up with a much more smoothly and evenly populated square of dots than almost anything that actually is randomly generated (insofar as anything really can be!)

Alison

Hi Wendy, Can I ask what part of Kent you are in? Only my MS Nurse told me that I live in a hotspot area of kent for MS. Sam x

Yes Sam I live in Sittingbourne.

Wendy x

[quote=alison100]

Well, it is always possible that there is an underlying cause at work.

But I think it more likely that your ‘cluster’ just looks that way because of our natural tendency to assume that random stuff is spread much more evenly across a population than it usually is. Stuff tends to be less evenly distributed than we expect it to be, and far more lumpy. My understanding is that pretty much everyone, when asked to put 1000 dots in a big square while trying to make them look random, comes up with a much more smoothly and evenly populated square of dots than almost anything that actually is randomly generated (insofar as anything really can be!)

Alison

[/quote

Thanks for that Alison, sort of understand but I am a bear with a very little brain!

Wendy x

re ms hotspots - I was brought up on a cul-de-sac of only 12 houses during the late 1950’s early 1960’s. I am the second of children on the street at the time to have ms, in addition I know of another three within the immediate neighbourhood. I’ve always thought it quite high, but have no idea what might have been going on back then to give a clue as to why.

It does make you wonder Flowerpot doesn’t it!

l was interested to read Poll’s reply about the area she lives. l am a firm believer that a lot of illnesses - especially types of cancer/leukemia etc are linked to asbesto/electricity pilons. Most of the old schools we attended had massive amounts of asbestos in them. And a lot of houses built in the 40/50’s. Not to mention factories/workplaces. Even our garage was lined with it. Nobody is going to own up to it - as it would lead to a avalanche of compensation claims.

Even now - plaster-board is used everywhere and that is classed as ‘dangerous’ and has to be properly disposed of. My daughter works for a building supply business as logistic manager. They have started their own ‘disposal unit’.

As a child l can remember our garden shed and garage was made from asbestos.

l live now in a very small village - and l know of 4 of us with MS.

[quote=“Corkie”]

[quote=alison100]

[/quote

Thanks for that Alison, sort of understand but I am a bear with a very little brain!

Wendy x

[/quote] Wendy, I pressed ‘send’ before adding ‘…and therefore what looks like a suspicious cluster is usually more likely just to be normal randomness doing its thing.’ A

[/quote] Wendy, I pressed ‘send’ before adding ‘…and therefore what looks like a suspicious cluster is usually more likely just to be normal randomness doing its thing.’ A[/quote]

Ahh Alison that makes a bit more sense.

Wendy x

Yes interesting Spacejacket, a friend in my branch had 4 people with MS in her tiny rural village, this included herself and her brother, her younger brother attended school in the town rather than the village school, fortunately there are no signs of MS with him.

Wendy x

In the primary school my children used to go to, at one point there were five mothers and one father with children there and with MS. There were only 200 families at the school. It was almost certainly just a coincidental cluster. Here’s a way of thinking about it. Suppose you toss ten coins and see how many heads and tails you get. If you do this lots of times, say 500, you will have some occasions when all ten coins come up heads. It could be that one of those times is the very first time you toss them all. It wouldn’t mean anything if it was - the laws of probability mean it’s going to happen sometimes. If you only do it once and it happens then, it’s just chance. There are lots of people who have MS who have no-one else in their road and in all the roads around who have MS. Ditto their kid’s school or the school they went to themselves. For other people there’s one person and sometimes there’s a cluster. That’s how probability works.

I suppose you could look at it like that SC; there are many coincidences in life. I found out last evening that My former next door neighbour’s former partner’s sister was the daughter of a lady who made a donation to our branch in memory of her daughter who died from MS aged 25, 30 years ago, a very rare occurence and obviously coincidence (the donation I mean).

Something I do believe is that life somehow sends you these little signals, for instance as soon as I become judgemental about certain people; you can bet your life I am shown up and proved wrong. My daughter feels the same, perhaps we are just switched on to the spiritual side of life. I was brought up in a Christian household and had a Christian education. I still love Jesus but no longer take part in organised religion. I try to trust in people until they let me down, sorry I’m going on a bit now.

Wendy x

I suppose you could look at it like that SC; there are many coincidences in life. I found out last evening that My former next door neighbour’s former partner’s sister was the daughter of a lady who made a donation to our branch in memory of her daughter who died from MS aged 25, 30 years ago, a very rare occurence and obviously coincidence (the donation I mean).

Something I do believe is that life somehow sends you these little signals, for instance as soon as I become judgemental about certain people; you can bet your life I am shown up and proved wrong. My daughter feels the same, perhaps we are just switched on to the spiritual side of life. I was brought up in a Christian household and had a Christian education. I still love Jesus but no longer take part in organised religion. I try to trust in people until they let me down, sorry I’m going on a bit now.

Wendy x

The tiny village I moved away from last year has less than 100 inhabitants but had 4 people with MS; it’s now down to 3.

Tracey x