john - you said" As far as I know, I am only Irish, English, and Scots; a rather too narrow mix, I suppose."

hmmm, mine is English, Scots with the B6 problem stemming from a germanic tribe genetic 'glitch' ;-) The alcoholism makes it difficult to see a connection - a red herring. i think it is in the genes.
I see a lot of these arthritic type diseases in those here of Scots or northern European discent.
I suspect that a lot of it is in the lack of pyridoxine B6] which seems to lay the base for everything else to decline. It is very common.
In my experience it is the lack of B6. Certainly it is true in my case Adding the B6, is changing everything. My sensitivity to starch is declining. I think it is the base cause of AS. It is in a great many enzymes.
If your folks had had adequate B6 and niacinamide [= less appetite for the drink] maybe the outlook might have been very different.
Schizophrenia is less common in the countryside. I suspect that the more highly processed foods of the city deny B6, and the manganese and zinc.

Last edited by north; 01/13/11 11:57 PM. Reason: more info