Human Genetic Diseases and HSPs
What causes human genetic diseases? The Geschwind Theory provides useful information by shedding some light on this mysterious topic.
The Geschwind Theory
There are a number of ways that someone can become highly sensitive. Genetics is one. The Geschwind Theory explains another possibility. Introduced in the late 1980's, the Geshwind Theory, now known as the Geschwind-Behan-Galaburda Theory states that left-handedness and a more right brained orientation can be caused by elevated testosterone levels in the womb during pregnancy. (see footnote)
These developmental differences can be a factor in some human genetic diseases.
Higher levels of testosterone during pregnancy were found to be caused by higher levels of stress in the mother. High levels of intrauterine testosterone results in reverse lateralization of the brain because the testosterone slows the left brain's development resulting in a more developed right brain.
The study also found that under these conditions of higher testosterone the fetus' brain functions could become located in atypical places in the brain. Their research observed increased incidence of left-handedness, a characteristic which can be found in highly sensitive people and located both handedness and language skills in the right brain. Since each side of the brain controls the opposite hand, handedness located in the right brain results in left-handedness. They found a correlation between left-handedness and speech problems.
A study that Dr. Geschwind did with Dr. Behan showed left-handed people were 2 and 1/2 more times more likely to have autoimmune disorders and 10 times more likely to have learning disabilities. Near relatives of left-handed people also experienced the same traits. (see footnote.)
A additional source of information about sensitive people and genetic disorders is available in David Ritchey's H.I.S.S. of the A.S.P., Understanding the Anomalously Sensitive Person.
The HSP Brain Highway
Geschwind's work examined the corpus callosum, the tissue between the brain hemispheres provides for communication between the left and right halves of the brain. In left-handed people it was found to be significantly larger, increasing the communication between the two spheres.
It is thought that the larger corpus callosum permits more mental brain functions to be located in many more locations of the brain. Unlike left brained people where the mental functions are more standardized, right brained people seem to be more likely to have mental functions stored in a variety of places in the brain.
Footnote: "Left vs. Right: Brain Function Tied to Hormone in the Womb”, September 24, 1985, The New York Times, (accessed February, 2011)