Rates of ADHD, autism, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers are growing, among other diseases.
A couple of days ago I examined environmentally caused genetic damage in children here.
Today I examine a recent study on rates of neurological diseases diagnosed in adults.
The study found incidences of neurologically-induced death are increasing. The diseases appear to be emerging earlier (i.e., affecting more people under age 55). Here is the citation and abstract:
Pritchard C, Mayers, A, Baldwin D. Changing patterns of neurological mortality in the 10 major developed countries 1979-2010. Public Health, 2013. Abstract from PubMed citation here
To examine whether there is a continued increase in neurological deaths in the major developed countries over the period 1979-2010.
Analyzes changing patterns of neurological deaths and Total Mortality of people aged 55-74 years by sex.
Baseline WHO 3-year average mortality for 1979-81 were compared with changes in 2008-10, for Total Mortality and the neurological categories Nervous Disease, and Alzheimer & other Dementias deaths in rates per million. To control for different diagnostic practice, the focus is upon Total Neurological Deaths in relation to Total Mortality and Odds ratios are calculated. UK Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson's disease and variant CJD are explored as possible constituent categories of Nervous Disease for other countries.
Total Mortality fell substantially in every country, conversely, Nervous Disease and Alzheimer's rose in seven and six countries respectively. Total Neurological Deaths for males and females increased significantly in Australia, Canada, England & Wales, Italy, the Netherlands and especially the USA. Unlike motor neurone disease, variant CJD' deaths in England and Wales did not contribute substantially to the overall neurological increases found. Odds ratios indicated that neurological deaths differentially increased significantly in every country compared to Total Mortality.
These results pose a major public health problem, as the epigenetic contribution to these changes, rather than longevity, have serious implications indicating earlier onset of neurological morbidity pressurizing families, health and social care services, with resource implications especially for Australia, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the USA.
Majia here: This study provides evidence that we may die sooner, rather than later, because of growing rates of neurological diseases in adulthood.
The lead author, C. Pritchard, was interviewed in the May 10, 2013 Science Daily article, "Brain Diseases Affecting More People and Starting Earlier Than Ever Before" here. This is Dr. Pritchard's response to a question about the cause of increased incidents of neurological disease:
When asked what he thought caused the increases he replied, "This has to be speculative but it cannot be genetic because the period is too short. Whilst there will be some influence of more elderly people, it does not account for the earlier onset; the differences between countries nor the fact that more women have been affected, as their lives have changed more than men's over the period, all indicates multiple environmental factors.
Considering the changes over the last 30 years -- the explosion in electronic devices, rises in background non-ionising radiation- PC's, micro waves, TV's, mobile phones; road and air transport up four-fold increasing background petro-chemical pollution; chemical additives to food etc. There is no one factor rather the likely interaction between all these environmental triggers, reflecting changes in other conditions.
For example, whilst cancer deaths are down substantially, cancer incidence continues to rise; levels of asthma are un-precedented; the fall in male sperm counts -- the rise of auto-immune diseases -- all point to life-style and environmental influences. These `statistics' are about real people and families, and we need to recognise that there is an `epidemic' that clearly is influenced by environmental and societal changes."
Majia here: Dr Pritchard attributes the increase to life-style and environmental influences.
There is an important difference between the two categories of environmental influence: We can control how many artificial sweetners we consume through lifestyle adaptations, but we cannot control our exposure to lead, arsenic, mercury, radiocesium, strontium, uranium, etc. we are exposed to in our water, our air, and our food.
We cannot eliminate heavy metals, radiation, complex industrial and agricultural chemicals through lifestyle adaptations.
I very much appreciate Dr. Pritchard's comments, but his statement that "it cannot be genetic" needs some clarification.
Environmental causes are not genetic in the sense described by Mendel. That is the point Dr. Pritchard is trying to make.
I've been describing in my research and on this blog how environmental factors adversely impact genetic and epignetic operations. The environment is adversely impacting our genetic sequence and causing variants in gene expression.
When we adopt an open-systems model, illustrated in the research paradigm of environmental genomics, we see that our genes are being damaged by the environment. Our mitochondrial DNA is very vulnerable to disruption as are other genes expressed in the brain.
The built environment is destroying our DNA, by producing de novo mutations, which cause more neurological diseases, in old people and in young people. Environmental insults also injure epigenetic processes as genes are silenced or activated by methylation (see Wikipedia here)
Insults are also destroying our metabolic systems as complex chemicals mimic estrogen, among other disruptions.
Our brains are at risk and every generation's brains are going to be more damaged as they inherit the sum of their parents germ line cell damage.
We don't have to kill ourselves with war to engineer our rapid extinction.
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/.../de-novo-mutations-autism-and-congenital.ht...2 days ago – People with autism have more de novo mutations than their parents and relatives
. A study, described below, examined how de novo mutations ...
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/mutations-germ-line-mosaicism.htmlMay 23, 2012 – [excerpted] "Germ-line mosaicism (the occurrence of a de novo ... Majia here: The report yesterday noted that although the mutations may be ...
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/genetic-reductionism-in-autism.htmlApr 5, 2012 – Majia here: I am getting tired of this narrative that autism is directly caused by ... Majia Here: De novo mutations are NOT inherited, as the article ...
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/burdening-species-with-genetic.htmlMay 23, 2012 – Majia Here: The report was created in the early days of genetic research. .... Here is a definition of a de novo mutation: "An alteration in a gene ...
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/.../ionizing-radiation-and-germ-cell-damage.ht...Feb 22, 2012 – For example de novo mutations (C to G in fibroblast growth factor ... Majia Here: Classical autism in children has been linked to father's age in a ...
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/autism-and-radiation.htmlAug 22, 2012 – Majia here: I believe autism is a heterogeneous condition and that there are ... For example de novo mutations (C to G in fibroblast growth factor ...
- majiasblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/autism-and-environment.htmlMay 7, 2013 – Majia here: This is not news. ... fail with the accumulation of de novo mutations across generations as each ... Posted by Majia's Blog at 1:02 PM ...