Navigation Links
Did the gene for ADHD help our nomadic ancestors?
Date:6/16/2008

An ADHD-associated version of the human gene DRD4 is linked to better health among nomadic tribesmen, but may cause malnourishment in their settled cousins, according to new research by a team directed by an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).

A study by UWM assistant professor Ben Campbell and colleagues from Northwestern University, Boston University and UNLV shows that a particular version of the gene DRD4, appears to have completely different effects, depending on one's environment.

The DRD4 gene codes for a receptor for dopamine, one of the chemical messengers used in the brain. Previous research has linked the gene with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder-type behavior in young men risk-taking, reward-seeking and impulsivity, says Campbell.

But people can have different versions of the gene. One variant, called the 7R allele, is associated with novelty-seeking in addition to ADHD.

The researchers conducted the study among the Ariaal population in northern Kenya some of whom still live as nomads, while others have recently settled. The research team analyzed the body mass index (BMI) and height of the two groups, nomadic and non-nomadic Ariaal men, who had the variant gene.

They found that those with the 7R allele in the nomadic population were better nourished than their non-nomadic brethren who carried 7R allele.

The results underscore, says Campbell, the complexity of genotype on the expression of behavior. Different environments can determine whether behaviors associated with the gene, such as ADHD, are more or less effective.

"We may have difficulty understanding ADHD in part because we are considering the behaviors associated with it in only one environment the present one," he says. "The thinking used to be one gene, one outcome. Now we know that one gene with different environments yields different outcomes."

Campbell says the results have implications for the relationship between a sedentary lifestyle and aging.

"This suggests that this particular allele may be beneficial in a traditional setting with high levels of habitual physical activity, but carries with it longer term costs in a more sedentary setting."

Although the effects of different versions of dopamine genes have already been studied in industrialized countries, very little research has been carried out in non-industrial settings, says Campbell. And yet, subsistence environments are more similar to those where much of human genetic evolution took place, he points out.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Campbell
campbelb@uwm.edu
414-229-6250
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Source:Eurekalert

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... and ITHACA, N.Y. , June 23, ... University, a leader in dairy research, today announced a ... to help reduce the chances that the global milk ... of this dairy project, Cornell University has become the ... the Food Supply Chain, a food safety initiative that ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... --  Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise patient ... Systems , an electronic medical record solutions developer ... a partnership to build an interface between the ... products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity Business ... integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using GE ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ., ... a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with Dr. ... best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced that the ... its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B VHH13 single ... the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. Dysregulation of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... International research firm Parks Associates announced today that Tom ... 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona ... and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase Driver ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, and ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics ... at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people ... to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources ...
Breaking Biology Technology: