Did Brain Atrophy Evolve?

Common Variants in ABCA7 and MSA46A are Associated with Cortical and Hippocampal Atrophy (Subscription required)

Reported as:

Two Alzheimer’s Risk Genes Linked to Brain Atrophy


Using magnetic resonance imaging tools to measure brain size and genetic analysis, the researchers looked for associations between the genetic variants and atrophy in the cortical and hippocampal regions of the brain, which are established physical biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease.

My comment: Can anyone tell me how the genes that produce the proteins in the blood that they link to atrophy are created or destroyed in people who never develop any neurodegenerative disease?

Smell Tests Could One Day Reveal Head Trauma and Neurodegenerative Disease


Why Smell Is Special
The unique characteristics of our sense of smell make sniff tests ideal for diagnosing brain injury. Here are some of the most interesting scientific findings about this unusual sense:

  • The adult brain can generate new neurons in the olfactory bulb, the brain region that processes smells. This area is one of just a few regions that continue to grow new neurons during adulthood.

  • Individuals vary in how they perceive odors and whether or not they can detect certain scents, and yet humans seem to universally enjoy the smell of vanilla.

  • Anosmia, a condition in which people completely lose their sense of smell, can be debilitating. Sufferers often report feeling disconnected from their surroundings, and many become severely depressed.

  • Romantic couples can unconsciously sense their partner’s emotional state from their sweat—and the longer they have lived together, the better they are at it.

  • Babies locate their mother’s nipples in part by learning a smell map of the breasts.

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“The beauty of olfaction,” Good points out, “is that testing is easy and can be done in the family physician’s office.”

My comment: The ugly backroom politics of medical practice is that the easy testing has not been done. It takes too much time away from the practice of medicine.  Physicians do not have time for time-consuming assessments or pharmacogenomic testing that links energy-dependent base pair substitutions and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions to the stability of organized genomes in people who do not develop neurodegenerative diseases or any other virus-driven pathology.
Fortunately, you can now assess your practitioners interest in your healthy longevity. Ask them which provider they use of the testing recommended in the context of the “Precision Medicine Initiative.” If they are not using any provider, it should become clear that they are never going to test your sense of smell. They are too busy!

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