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The Long Shadow of the Eugenics Movement | Psychology Today
the eugenics movement, which gained prominence in the United States and elsewhere in the early 20th century, and eventually contributed to the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust.

many members of the general public struggle to understand that human characteristics can be both “genetically-influenced” and “changeable”— a nuance that runs counter to the eugenics-derived view that people are born, not made.
eugenics-movement  philiip-yanos  psychologytoday  racism  holocost  nazis  bipolar-disorder  schizophrenia 
8 days ago by yolandaenoch
Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3, and Microbiota
Several genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been identified. However, more recent work has highlighted that certain environmental exposures early in life may also account for some cases of autism. Environmental insults during pregnancy, such as infection or malnutrition, seem to dramatically impact brain development. Maternal viral or bacterial infections have been characterized as disruptors of brain shaping, even if their underlying mechanisms are not yet fully understood. Poor nutritional diversity, as well as nutrient deficiency, is strongly associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children. For instance, imbalanced levels of essential fatty acids, and especially polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), are observed in patients with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia). Interestingly, PUFAs, and specifically n-3 PUFAs, are powerful immunomodulators that exert anti-inflammatory properties. These prenatal dietary and immunologic factors not only impact the fetal brain, but also affect the microbiota. Recent work suggests that the microbiota could be the missing link between environmental insults in prenatal life and future neurodevelopmental disorders. As both nutrition and inflammation can massively affect the microbiota, we discuss here how understanding the crosstalk between these three actors could provide a promising framework to better elucidate ASD etiology.
ASD  autism  spectrum  neurodevelopment  PUFA  PUFAs  ADHD  schizophrenia  immunomodulation  immunology  microbiota  disorder  environmental  environment  cause  pregnancy  infection  malnutrition  brain  nutrition 
9 weeks ago by userX
Schizophrenia 'risk genes' aren't so risky if mother's pregnancy was healthy
In thousands of healthy people and people with schizophrenia, the scientists found that what is thought to be a high risk score raised the risk of schizophrenia substantially only if in utero complications such as a mother’s diabetes, obesity, pre-eclampsia, or smoking were also present // that explains a hell of a lot
schizophrenia  genetics  medicine  poverty 
11 weeks ago by yorksranter
Does autism arise because the brain is continually surprised? | Science | AAAS
Satsuki Ayaya remembers finding it hard to play with other children when she was young, as if a screen separated her from them. Sometimes she felt numb, sometimes too sensitive; sometimes sounds were muted, sometimes too sharp.
research  autism  schizophrenia  neuroscience 
march 2018 by dougleigh
Lessons for human genetics from genetic screens in model organisms
> For many human traits or disorders, especially ones involving the human mind, that detailed understanding is lacking. Oftentimes the phenotype is simply a word on a form – like “schizophrenia”. Moreover, while in model organisms we can simply screen out the indirect and non-specific mutations and focus on the ones directly involved in the processes of interest, we don’t have that luxury in humans. The indirect and non-specific ones will contribute most of the variance in risk.

At one level, that’s okay – just identifying these genetic risk factors can be tremendously useful in a clinical setting. But it does make getting at the underlying biology much more challenging. Nature is under no obligation to make things simple for us. It is going to take a hell of a lot more work after the initial discovery of genetic variants to unravel the biology of complex traits and disorders.
kevin_mitchell  genetics  beyond_gwas  gene_expression  schizophrenia  causation 
february 2018 by porejide

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