[Neuroscience] Re: why did humans grow a bigger neocortex?

Entertained by my own EIMC via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by write_to_eimc from ozemail.com.au)
Thu Jul 26 23:09:43 EST 2007

"John H." <bingblat from goaway.com.au> wrote in message 
news:13ainml3bqvfd74 from corp.supernews.com...
> "Entertained by my own EIMC" <write_to_eimc from ozemail.com.au> wrote in 
> message
> news:46a84d24$0$31439$5a62ac22 from per-qv1-newsreader-01.iinet.net.au...
>> Hi John,
>> You write write really well about what's wanting - and you write with
>> admirable specificity.
>> I _do_ agree with you - given the way you presented the problems of
>> understanding things.
>> Since I got the sense that the amyloidal protein tangles that appear to 
>> be
>> part of the structural symptoms of  Alzheimer's disease loomed large
>> (associatively only - nothing else!) in your lobes when you wrote what's
>> below, I will say this:
>> I think a very well hedged bet on what is a key contributory cause of
>> Alzheimer's (however, I could quite easily place the same kind of bet in
>> several other baskets too) is some conditioned-in source of stress that
> has
>> (or that in the case of certain genomes can have) this kind of of
>> "camel's-back-braking" effect.
> Yes, there is a molecular underpinning to this. Specifically,
> glucocorticoids can induce the expression of amyloid. What needs to be
> studied here is how glucocorticoids affect the balance of amyloids 1-40,
> 1-42. Interestingly the hippocampus is amongst the first regions to be
> affected by neurodegeneration and this region is very rich in gc 
> receptors.
> Ongoing stressors throughout the day will also induce spikes in
> pro-inflammatory mediators which are probably contributing to amyloid
> expression. So we should not be too surprised at an epidemic of dementias
> because we live in a peaceful yet very stressful culture.
>> Of course I would prefer to call this conditioned-in source of stress
>> "CURSES in the actention selection serving system" rather than "Pain, or
>> primal pain, in the brain".
>> I don't think we will be so lucky that we end up discovering that
> something
>> as simple as virus (that has some vulnerability that allow us to 
>> vaccinate
>> against it) is the cause.
> There are many paths to enlightenment and there are many paths to 
> dementias.
> Genetic predisposition doesn't figure that highly except for the early 
> onset
> Alz, overall environmental factor appear far more determinative. Sustained
> systemic inflammation, head injury (even a few mild concussions), bad 
> stress
> management, poor diet, pollution, heart disease, diabetes, poor sleep,
> chronic circadian disruption, lack of exercise .... . I sometimes get the
> impression that we are too preoccupied looking for a specific cause, there
> are many causes and there may not be a final common pathway but many
> pathways.

I eat rather well most of the time, these days, and there are no cases of 
Alz in my family history (AFAIK), but otherwise I can only hope that the old 
saying "all roads lead to Rome" does not apply to me.
Lottie, our poodle-person, will get an extra long afternoon-walk today. 
Thanks to you, John. :-)

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