ADHD, Autism and Schizophrenia Link

Autism © by hepingting

A study out of Great Britain has shown that there is a link between, ADHD, autism and schizophrenia. Scientist have demonstrated that these diseases have a genetic basis, that there are differences in the brain structure which lead to these developmental disorders.  The study published in The Lancet and reported in Science Daily in September, 2010,  ”found that children with ADHD were more likely to have small segments of their DNA duplicated or missing than other children.”

These segments are called copy-number variants.  Copy-number variants are defined by Wikipedia as “are alterations of the DNA of a genome that results in the cell having an abnormal number of copies of one or more sections of the DNA.”  Apparently these segments overlap in ADHD, autism and schizophrenia, which means that ADHD can now be classified as a genetically based disorder like autism and schizophrenia.

Highly sensitive people often have genetically based diseases caused by abnormal fetal development.  Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the stress experienced by the mother during pregnancy as the creation of an HSP with genetic disorders.  Many genetic diseases have existed for a long time in the human race, and as a result they can be inherited as well.

There are many different kinds of copy-number variants or CNV’s some adding or deleting sections of the DNA. Apparently individuals with ADHD had many unusual CNV’s in the DNA.  Changes in chromosome 16 are the cause of many brain disorders according to scientists and it is the presence of changes in this chromosome that have enabled scientists to propose that ADHD shares a genetic basis for its existence with other brain disorders.

Although these finding will call into question theories about ADHD being caused by food allergies or poor eating habits, it does not mean that ADHD sufferers cannot help themselves with healthy eating.  It may be even more important for ADHD sufferers to keep their bodies as toxin free as possible to minimize aggravation to their systems. Meditation, healthy food and herbal supplements may help facilitate a nervous system lifestyle and help bring ADHD problems under control.

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People Power And The Wisdom of Crowds

All of these are connected © by adactio

Apparently we have entered the age of people power and the wisdom of crowds. James Surowiecki who wrote a famous book on the subject, The Wisdom of Crowdstalks about the various ways people collect information, coordinate their actions and cooperate with each other and how top down, expert oriented systems often are ineffective and wrong.

We are now seeing some important new thinking and attitudes about crowds that may be a sign of our maturing. The internet is a huge public display of wisdom (PDW) so it is hard to escape how far we humans have come. Most societies have traditionally concentrated power in the hands of a few and promoted institutional power over people power.  There are signs that this is changing and must change.

If you read James Surowiecki’s book you can see that the expert power model is in many ways dysfunctional because no one knows it all and we each have our blindspots. The benefit of the crowd is that it can pool knowledge and wisdom and suppress mistaken perceptions.  It acts as an aggregator of information and a buffer against the human capacity to be off the wall at the same time. Perhaps dysfunction was deemed preferable to chaos in the past, but as the crowd becomes smarter, it cannot tolerate a despot with issues.

Obstacles have a long history as a form of protection.  To survive, early humans had to be concerned about violence, and if not violence they were very vulnerable to disease.  So self protection had an important life preserving function. People who lived in geographically protected places like the Swiss in the Alps or even the United States surrounded by water had an advantage over people who were less geographically protected. Divided government and the concentration of power in the hands of the few were social forms of protection.

However with the age of science and increased human knowledge and strength, the same protections can seem overdone.  The complexity of the modern age has made it evident that we have a great need to share knowledge since no one can know it all in our world of complex systems.  The internet had demonstrated the value and benefit of shared knowledge.  Although not all groups are equally mature in their internet sharing, the benefit easily outweighs the downside.  Human beings are starting to come into their own.

What does this have to do with the health concerns of highly sensitive people?  HSP’s have the capacity for great knowledge and wisdom.  The internet age and HSP’s were made for each other. Now that we know more about patterns of development and how people become HSP’s, the fear of differences seem to be diinishing and HSP’s have a greater chance of being accepted.  Social acceptance reduces stress and therefore will make it easier for HSP’s to be healthy.

The availability of shared knowledge provides HSP’s with the opportunity to take charge of their health, and not be at the mercy of a medical system that does not understand them.  It is a great time for the health of highly sensitive people and a great time for the world to learn the wonderful gifts of highly sensitive people.

Why Happy Feet Is Important

Emperor Penguin © by SteFou!

First Zenyatta, now Happy Feet!  Something is going on with humans and animals that I have never seen before, at least not like this. Animals have captured the imagination in the past and we have formed relationships with them through our media.  Lassie was a good example from the last century. However, this feels different.  It feels like more than just affection.  It feels to me that the human race is waking up and the animals are leading the way and showing us how.

Zenyatta, that fabulous horse, had a wonderfully engaged and relating spirit, that captured everyone’s imagination.  She made us feel wonderful to be with her.  She made us feel more like the best of ourselves and reminded us of what that is.  She showed us that it wasn’t winning the race that mattered, it was living life that mattered. She reminded us of our heart and spirits and that is really what stays with me when I think of her.

Zenyatta was an American phenom.  Happy Feet is an international phenom. At first it would seem that they have little in common.  Zenyatta is a winning race horse; Happy Feet, a penguin who lost his way.  But Happy Feet accomplished in getting lost, what few Emperor penguins have been able to do, so he entered our awareness because he seemed special. Then we learned that he needed our help, he was very sick.  So we started a relationship with him, that continues even now as he has recovered, become healthy and strong, and set out for his home in Antarctica. Happy Feet got our curiosity, our concern and good wishes, and our hearts and admiration. He brought out the best in us.

Both Zenyatta and Happy Feet seem to have sparked our spirits, wonder, good will and joy like few events that I can remember.  The internet is probably a factor in all of this.  Perhaps it is showing us that we are not alone in our desire to have a more livable world.

There is definitely something in the air.  I think people are tired of fighting and competition and want to enjoy life. Sometimes I have wondered if we have forgotten how.  Now I think we may be finding our way again.

Thank you Zenyatta and Happy Feet.