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MS and red-facedness poll - Input Junkie
November 24th, 2009
10:59 am

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MS and red-facedness poll
In a recent post, I suggested that people take a poll at an MS blog to increase the range of data about a possible connection between problematic brain veins and MS. However, you need to register to reply there, and this is probably more trouble than it's worth to answer a single question, so I've replicated their poll here.

Does your head get a lot redder than your body when you exercise?

Yes-my head turns red, and I have MS
0(0.0%)
No-my head doesn't turn red, and I have MS
0(0.0%)
Yes-my head turns red, and I do NOT have MS
4(16.7%)
No-my head doesn't turn red, and I do NOT have MS
20(83.3%)

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:siderea
Date:November 24th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
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I have no idea. Huh.
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From:kgbooklog
Date:November 24th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
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While I don't get red, my parents sometimes do, especially when working in the garden. They don't have MS, but they have other health issues (high blood pressure and heart defects for dad, epilepsy and brain tumor for mom).
[User Picture]
From:shweta_narayan
Date:November 24th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
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Incidentally, this poll presumably assumes pale skin color. My head never turns red. With a lot of blood to it, it might turn sort of purple.
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 24th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
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Good point. Would "redder and/or darker" ("red and/or dark") be better?
[User Picture]
From:shweta_narayan
Date:November 24th, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)
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Thing is, I don't think about this in terms of my skin color at all, because I don't see the color changes; they're mild -- and I'm sort of mid-tone.

Apparently people who look at me a fair amount can realize I may be pale, or may be blushing, but not with any certainty. So color is just not a good way of judging these things for (at least) my skin tone.

Maybe just saying "does blood rush to your face" is a pretty race-neutral way? Not that you can change the original poll, and I realized you copied it over rather than coming up with it yourself, just figured it'd be a good thing to point out :)
[User Picture]
From:nancylebov
Date:November 25th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
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Thanks.

I'm not sure how to handle this for people for whom the blood flow change isn't especially visible. The point of the survey is to have a quick, cheap way to identify possible blood flow differences between people with and without MS as a clue to whether scientific study is worth doing.

My guess is that people can generally feel it in their faces when they blush, but exercise is too distracting to feel whether there's a head/body difference in flushing.

[User Picture]
From:shweta_narayan
Date:November 25th, 2009 12:25 am (UTC)
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Hm.
So, I can feel blood go to my face when I exercise sometimes, much more easily than I can tell the color difference.
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From:nancylebov
Date:November 25th, 2009 12:47 am (UTC)
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The thing is, I'm not sure whether most people can feel whether or not they flush below their heads.

My tentative solution is to go with "redder/darker" on the assumption that there are people whose skin is dark enough that a flush isn't especially red, but that there are a lot of people have skin that's too dark for this sketchy test to be useful.
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From:shweta_narayan
Date:November 25th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
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:nods:
Yeah, I can only speak for myself :)
[User Picture]
From:thnidu
Date:November 24th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
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Gee, isn't LJ's poll software interesting? Specifically, the bar graph, which I just checked my impressions of by putting a ruler to my screen:
* 0 = 1cm
* 2 = 3cm
* 15 = 16cm

Therefore, 2 / 3 = 0.

To be a little bit more constructive, why don't they just use a little red dot or "|"?

I think I'll post this on the LJ blog as well.
[User Picture]
From:nancylebov
Date:November 24th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
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I'd noticed the lack of scaling on the poll results.

Thanks, but could you hold off on the repost for a day or so in case there's a "redder/darker" or somesuch rephrasing?

Update: Could you modify it to "redder/darker" or "redder or darker" if you prefer? See above for the reasoning.

Edited at 2009-11-25 01:20 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:thnidu
Date:November 25th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
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I've already posted it as a problem report at http://www.livejournal.com/support/see_request.bml?id=1023355&

I don't understand what you mean by "redder or darker". Color has nothing to do with it. They represent any value of n, including 0, by a bar of length = n+1. If all values on the graph are much larger than 1 the effect is negligible, but with small values like these it looks quite anomalous: the bar for 0 is 1/3 as long as a bar for 2, and half as long as a bar for 1. That tells your perception that 3x0 = 2, and 2x0 =1. That's WRONG.


Edited at 2009-11-25 03:42 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:nancylebov
Date:November 25th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC)
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Oh. I had two different topics there.

'Redder or darker' is about what color a person's face might turn. Their skin color is going to affect how much difference increased blood flow makes.
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From:thnidu
Date:November 25th, 2009 04:21 pm (UTC)
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That's what I thought you meant, but the bars are also red. My complaint to LJ has nothing to do with the specifics of your poll -- that's why I didn't give a pointer to it. The only reason I mentioned the values is that they're small enough for the bug to make a difference in perception.
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From:hummingwolf
Date:November 25th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
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I know my head looks like a tomato when I get overheated, but since I've never seen the rest of my body at those times, I have no idea what to answer.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 25th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)

Thanks from JSTCD

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Thanks very much for posting this poll.

Everyone's head will get a little redder, especially the cheeks, when they exercise, but so too will their body. this doesn't count. By red head, what the poll is looking for is the whole head, and enough that it's obvious or even embarrassing.

Admittedly I am fair skinned, so I appologize if the wording didn't take skin color into consideration as well as it should have.

So far combined total for all sites with this survey:
MS - Yes: 34
MS- No: 9
NotMS yes: 6
NotMS No: 26

Of people with MS 79% get a very red head
Of people wihtout, 77% do not

So far pretty good results confirming Dr Zamboni's thesis!!
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