Author Topic: Altering Brain Function by Altering Gene Expression  (Read 4521 times)

Offline JC Spencer

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Altering Brain Function by Altering Gene Expression
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2008, 11:12:53 AM »
Comments by J. C. Spencer

Glycomics, the science of sugars, play a role in altering gene expression as evidenced in research conducted at Texas A&M by David Busbee, PhD, on the faculty of Genetics and Toxicology.  Dr. Busbee presented these studies at two Glycomics Medical Conferences sponsored by The Endowment for Medical Research in Houston.  His presentations are a part of fourteen hours of education in glycomics available on DVD.

Toxins can alter gene expression in very destructive ways while healthful sugars can alter gene expression in a very beneficial way.  Further research is giving us new insight into how to improve brain function and positively alter gene expression.

This morning, a medical doctor friend sent me the following report on how lifestyle changes can trigger genetic changes.  Ways and means of altering gene expression is a major interest here at The Endowment and I believe will be growing area of interest in healthcare in the years ahead.

In my report I am also adding another study released this week verifying that the brains of homosexuals are different than normal brains. While the case is that homosexual brains are different and that is what caused them to be that way, my thesis is that brains are changed because of lifestyles.  Gene expressions can be alters positively or negatively through the foods we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath, and the thoughts we think.

In my book, Expand Your Mind - Improve Your Brain, I discuss this in an easy to read way so it can be understood by the layman.  We know that drugs can become addictive.  When thoughts are entertained often enough (good or bad thoughts - helpful or harmful thought) it is possible for the person to become as ADDICTED as if it were drugs.  I discuss how a negative dramatic event can trigger illnesses. That illness is then controlled by the brain as if it were hard wired.  Also, on the positive side, a wonderful positive dramatic event may go as far as to cause a spontaneous remission.  We have not yet discovered the abilities that the Creator has designed into our DNA and our ability to alter our own gene expressions.

We are to look toward what we want to achieve.  A race car drive must look at the road.  If he looks at the wall, he will hit the wall.  In sickness care, we are looking at the symptoms, the sickness.  In wellness, we focus on the wellness.  This is not to ignore the wall or the sickness and say they are not there.  The negative thoughts just should not be our focus.  Focus your thoughts on where you want to go, not where you have been.

Enough of my lecture, here are the two studies that may help you understand what I am attempting to say:

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Healthy lifestyle triggers genetic changes: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Comprehensive lifestyle changes including a better diet and more exercise can lead not only to a better physique, but also to swift and dramatic changes at the genetic level, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

In a small study, the researchers tracked 30 men with low-risk prostate cancer who decided against conventional medical treatment such as surgery and radiation or hormone therapy.

The men underwent three months of major lifestyle changes, including eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and soy products, moderate exercise such as walking for half an hour a day, and an hour of daily stress management methods such as meditation.

As expected, they lost weight, lowered their blood pressure and saw other health improvements. But the researchers found more profound changes when they compared prostate biopsies taken before and after the lifestyle changes.

After the three months, the men had changes in activity in about 500 genes -- including 48 that were turned on and 453 genes that were turned off.

The activity of disease-preventing genes increased while a number of disease-promoting genes, including those involved in prostate cancer and breast cancer, shut down, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research was led by Dr. Dean Ornish, head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, and a well-known author advocating lifestyle changes to improve health.

"It's an exciting finding because so often people say, 'Oh, it's all in my genes, what can I do?' Well, it turns out you may be able to do a lot," Ornish, who is also affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco, said in a telephone interview.

"'In just three months, I can change hundreds of my genes simply by changing what I eat and how I live?' That's pretty exciting," Ornish said. "The implications of our study are not limited to men with prostate cancer."

Ornish said the men avoided conventional medical treatment for prostate cancer for reasons separate from the study. But in making that decision, they allowed the researchers to look at biopsies in people with cancer before and after lifestyle changes.

"It gave us the opportunity to have an ethical reason for doing repeat biopsies in just a three-month period because they needed that anyway to look at their clinical changes (in their prostate cancer)," Ornish said.

By Will Dunham
Mon Jun 16, 9:21 PM ET
(Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Xavier Briand)

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Homosexual Brains are Different

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute studied brain scans of 90 gay and straight men and women, and found that the size of the two symmetrical halves of the brains of gay men more closely resembled those of straight women than they did straight men. In heterosexual women, the two halves of the brain are more or less the same size. In heterosexual men, the right hemisphere is slightly larger. Scans of the brains of gay men in the study, however, showed that their hemispheres were relatively symmetrical, like those of straight women, while the brains of homosexual women were asymmetrical like those of straight men. The number of nerves connecting the two sides of the brains of gay men were also more like the number in heterosexual women than in straight men.

Just what these brain differences mean is still not clear. Ever since 1991, when Simon LeVay first documented differences in the hypothalamus of gay and straight men, researchers have been struggling to understand what causes these differences to occur. Until now, the brain regions that scientists have come to believe play a role in sexual orientation have been related to either reproduction or sexuality. The Swedish study, however, is the first to find differences in parts of the brain not normally involved in reproduction  -  the denser network of nerve connections, for example, was found in the amygdala, known as the emotional center of the brain. "The big question has always been, if the brains of gay men are different, or feminized, as earlier research suggests," says Dr. Eric Vilain, professor of human genetics at University of California Los Angeles, "then is it just limited to sexual preference or are there other regions that are gender atypical in gay males? For the first time, in this study it looks like there are regions of the brain not directly involved in sexuality that seem to be feminized in gay males."

Vilain, who studies the genetic factors behind sexuality and sexual orientation, notes that it may turn out that the brains of gay men possess only some 'feminized' structures, while retaining some masculine ones, and this is reflected in how they act on their sexuality. "We know from studies that men, regardless of their sexual orientation, retain masculine characteristics when it comes to their sexual behavior," he says. Both gay and straight men, for example, tend to prefer younger partners, in contrast to women, who gravitate toward older partners. Most men are also more likely than women to engage in casual sex, and to be aroused by visual stimuli. "So I expect that some regions of the brain will remain masculine even in gay men," says Vilain. For something as complex as sexual orientation, it's no surprise that everything from genes to gender to environment may play a role in ultimately determining your perfect partner.

What the Gay Brain Looks Like
Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2008 By ALICE PARK in cooperation with
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 02:10:12 AM by JC Spencer »