[Paleopsych] WebMd: Genes May Help Some People Stay MentallySharp Into Their 90s and Beyond

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Thu Dec 29 14:30:00 UTC 2005

These might be examples of epigenetic control.

-----Original Message-----
From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
[mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]On Behalf Of Lynn D. Johnson,
Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 10:58 PM
To: The new improved paleopsych list
Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] WebMd: Genes May Help Some People Stay
MentallySharp Into Their 90s and Beyond

Somewhere (I need to look it up) I have some research reports about
optimism and gratitude affecting gene expression - people who are very
optimistic, happy, and grateful will live longer and healthier lives.

Frank Forman and I were discussing the value (or lack of it, as Frank
see it) of a religious life, and Steve's gene expression emphasis
suggests one of the values. Since both Christianity and Buddhism
strongly emphasize gratitude as a vital virtue (and I believe Islam, not
as sure), that may account for religious people tending to live longer.
Religions remind one to feel forgiving and grateful. Grateful people are
low in cortisol, high in dhea, stronger immune systems, and so on. So
religion may help healthy gene expression. Of course, Frank, you can
always also be grateful to the big bang et seq. but somehow it doesn't
seem as soul-satisfying. So here is my effort at a hymn for materialists.

A hymn for Frank and Sarah

"We thank thee, dear Darwin, down under our feet,
For all life's developing complexity.
We thank thee for frontal lobes mighty and full,
And right temporal lobes where we feel mystery's pull.

Oh, dear father Hubble, as stars rush away,
We're glad they have given us an earth where we stay.
And for a world tilted just twenty-one degrees,
That makes life adjust to the changes we need.

The Anthropic Principle fills hearts with delight,
As we ponder the chances that life would arrive
 From strong and weak forces ideally aligned
To tickle our minds with the presence divine.

Now let's nurture gratitude deep in our hearts,
So good gene expression will sure do its part
To lengthen out full lives for you and for me
To create our very own divinity!

copyright (c) 2005 lynn johnson - distribution is encouraged and will be
gratefully appreciated. Direct criticism to whocares at deadletter.com

Useful graphic: http://universe-review.ca/I02-21-multiverse3.jpg

Lynn D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Solutions Consulting Group
166 East 5900 South, Ste. B-108
Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Tel: (801) 261-1412; Fax: (801) 288-2269

Check out our webpage: www.solution-consulting.com

Feeling upset? Order Get On The Peace Train, my new solution-oriented book
on negative emotions.

Steve Hovland wrote:

>They won't know it for 20 years, but in view of epigenetics,
>biotechnology is a dead end :-)
>-----Original Message-----
>From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
>[mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]On Behalf Of Premise Checker
>Sent: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 6:37 PM
>To: paleopsych at paleopsych.org
>Subject: [Paleopsych] WebMd: Genes May Help Some People Stay Mentally
>Sharp Into Their 90s and Beyond
>Genes May Help Some People Stay Mentally Sharp Into Their 90s and Beyond
>[Joel Garreau's new book, _Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of
>Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies--and What It Means to be Human_ (NY:
>Doubleday, 2005) has just arrived. I am signed up to review it for _The
>Journal of Evolution and Technology_ and commenced reading it at once.
>Accordingly, I have stopped grabbing articles to forward until I have
>written my review *and* have caught up on my reading, this last going on
>for how many ever weeks it takes. I have a backlog of articles to send and
>will exhaust them by the end of the year. After that, I have a big batch
>of journal articles I downloaded on my annual visit to the University of
>Virginia and will dole our conversions from PDF to TXT at the rate of one
>a day. I'll also participate in discussions and do up and occasional
>meme. But you'll be on your own in analyzing the news. I hope I have given
>you some of the tools to do so.]
>By Miranda Hitti
>WebMD Medical News 	Reviewed By Ann Edmundson, MD
>on Thursday, December 15, 2005
>Dec. 15, 2005 --- Some people seem wired to stay mentally sharp for 90
>years or more.
>Just ask George Zubenko, MD, PhD. He's not one of those quick-witted
>seniors (not yet, anyway), but he studied their genes.
>Zubenko is a University of Pittsburgh professor of psychiatry and
>biological sciences. He compared the genes of two groups of healthy
>people who differed in age by more than half a century.
>The results hint that genes affect the aging brain and that healthy
>lifestyles also count.
>In a news release, Zubenko calls the findings "exciting." He says,
>"Identifying such genetic and behavioral factors may hold promise for
>better understanding the aging process and perhaps one day enriching or
>extending the lives of other individuals."
>Aging America
>Aging is a timely topic, as the U.S. population ages.
>The CDC estimates that a baby born in 2003 has a life expectancy of 77.6
>years. That's a record highThat's a record high.
>The CDC also predicts that people aged 55-64 will be America's
>fastest-growing age group for the next decade.
>Those people are practically youngsters next to the oldest people
>aliveoldest people alive. About 450 people worldwide are reportedly
>older than 110.
>Sharp as Ever After 90
>Zubenko's study included 200 people split into two age groups.
>One group included 100 elders whose minds hadn't lost much ground to
>aging. They were 94 people in their 90s and six centenarians.
>Most of the elders were living independently and could handle activities
>of their daily lives. Half were men.
>The second group consisted of 100 young adults aged 18-25 years. Zubenko
>matched them to the elders regarding sex, race, ethnic background, and
>geographic location.
>Gene Advantage
>Zubenko compared the groups' genes. He noticed that compared to the
>young adults, the elders had more of one genetic marker (the APOE E2
>allele) and less of another (the APOE E4 allele).
>This genetic profile may offer some protection from Alzheimer's disease,
>though no one knows exactly what causes Alzheimer'sAlzheimer's.
>The study also shows some different gene patterns among the male and
>female elders. Zubenko notes that women often live longer than men, in a
>news release.
>"It would not be surprising if the collection of genes that influences
>the capacity to reach old age with normal mental capacity differs
>somewhat for men and women," he says.
>Lifestyle Counts, Too
>Genes are only part of the picture in healthy aging. Our circumstances
>and the way we treat ourselves can also make a difference.
>The elders in Zubenko's study had a few things in common including
>lifestyle factors. Only one was a current smoker.
>     * 80% drank alcohol less than once a month
>     * None had a history of mental disorders in early or middle
>Lifestyle factorsLifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, optimism, and
>social support weren't reported in Zubenko's study.
>SOURCES: Annual meeting of American College of Neuropsychopharmacology,
>Waikoloa, Hawaii, Dec. 11-15, 2005. News release, GYMR.
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org
paleopsych mailing list
paleopsych at paleopsych.org

More information about the paleopsych mailing list