Furthest Right

Natural selection at work

“[Our] findings show that a natural, common mutation in the GRIK4 gene protects against bipolar disorder,” said Ben Pickard, lead author of a study in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and a member of the department of medical genetics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. “If a natural mutation can result in protection, then this may offer clues as to how future drug treatments might be directed. . .”

The GRIK4 gene provides the genetic coding for the glutamate neurotransmitter receptor known as the KA1 kainate receptor. These kainate receptors are considered “excitatory,” because they generally make neurons more prone to firing signaling messages. The glutamate transmitter has been linked to different psychiatric disorders.

The deletion seems to be responsible for generating more glutamate receptors, thereby increasing glutamate signaling. “If kainate signaling can be stimulated, then that, too, might protect against bipolar disorder, Pickard said. “However, one problem with modulating glutamate activity like this is that too much glutamate is also harmful.”


In nature, this means that when enough creatures without this mutation die off, it becomes a standard part of the human being — until it is no longer constantly being tested, for example, when we have drugs to keep bipolar people from killing themselves before they breed.

Of course, if these creatures are smart enough to get themselves to a source of a supplement that suppresses their bipolar tendencies, they may survive — but will have created a future line with dependencies on that supplement:

Bipolar disorder is a devastating condition that causes extremes of mood. More than 12 million Americans suffer from this disorder every year, including men, women, and children. For as yet unknown reasons, women are more likely to develop the disorder than men.

Folic Acid: Folic acid is found in fruits, such as oranges, and leafy green vegetables, like spinach. Folic acid tends to be found in low levels in people suffering from depression. A supplement may help alleviate depressive symptoms.


This shows you one of the many reasons it’s important to eat the diet of your ancestors.

Most of our “great” (but not really great) “art” comes from bipolar people trying to express themselves. I could live easily with their absence, in exchange for having people who are inherently indisposed toward bipolarity.

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