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ADHD article from the economist
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Thread: ADHD article from the economist

  1. #1
    neither here nor there lysistrata's Avatar
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    ADHD article from the economist

    interesting shit. enjoy, my little tweakers.



    THE MISFITS
    Jun 12th 2008


    The genetic legacy of nomadism may be an inability to settle

    ABOUT one in 20 children (those under 18) have a group of symptoms that
    has come to be known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
    (ADHD). About 60% of them carry those symptoms into adulthood. For what
    is, at root, a genetic phenomenon, that is a lot--yet many studies have
    shown that ADHD is indeed genetic and not, as was once suspected, the
    result of poor parenting. It is associated with particular variants of
    receptor molecules for neurotransmitters in the brain. A
    neurotransmitter is a chemical that carries messages between nerve
    cells and, in the case of ADHD, that chemical is often dopamine, which
    controls feelings of reward and pleasure. The suggestion is that people
    with ADHD are receiving positive neurological feedback for
    inappropriate behaviour. The surprise is that the variant receptors are
    still there. Natural selection might have been expected to purge them
    from the population unless they have some compensating benefit.

    Of course, this analysis turns on the definition of "inappropriate".
    The main symptom of ADHD is impulsiveness. Sufferers have trouble
    concentrating on any task unless they receive constant feedback,
    stimulation and reward. They thus tend to flit from activity to
    activity. Adults with ADHD tend to perform poorly in modern society and
    are prone to addictive and compulsive behaviour. But might such people
    do well in different circumstances?

    One hypothesis is that the behaviour associated with ADHD helps people,
    such as hunter-gatherers and pastoral nomads, who lead a peripatetic
    life. Since today's sedentary city dwellers are recently descended from
    such people, natural selection may not have had time to purge the genes
    that cause it.

    Dan Eisenberg, of Northwestern University in Illinois, and his
    colleagues decided to test this by studying the Ariaal, a group of
    pastoral nomads who live in Kenya. The receptor Mr Eisenberg looked at
    was the 7R variant of a protein called DRD4. Previous work has shown
    that this variant is associated with novelty-seeking, food- and
    drug-cravings, and ADHD.

    The team looked for 7R in two groups of Ariaal. One was still pastoral
    and nomadic. The other had recently settled down. As they report in
    this week's BMC EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, they found that about a fifth of
    the population of both groups had the 7R version of DRD4. However, the
    consequences of this were very different. Among the nomads, who wander
    around northern Kenya herding cattle, camels, sheep and goats, those
    with 7R were better nourished than those without. The opposite was true
    of their settled relations: those with 7R were worse nourished than
    those without it.

    How 7R causes this is not yet known. It may stem from behavioural
    differences or it may be that different versions of DRD4 have different
    effects on the way the body processes food. Nevertheless, this
    discovery fits past findings that 7R and a set of similar variants of
    DRD4, known collectively as "long alleles", are more common in
    migratory populations.

    One suggestion is that long-distance migration selects for long alleles
    (see chart) because they reward exploratory behaviour. This might be an
    advantage in migratory societies because it encourages people to hunt
    down resources when they constantly move through unfamiliar
    surroundings.

    As for the Ariaal, there remains the question of why 7R--although it is
    apparently beneficial to a nomadic way of life--is found in only a
    fifth of the population. One possibility is that its effects are
    beneficial only when they are not universal, and some sort of
    equilibrium between variants emerges. A second is that the advantage is
    gained when 7R exists along with another version of DRD4 (the genes for
    the two variants having come from different parents). Unfortunately,
    the way Mr Eisenberg collected the data does not allow these hypotheses
    to be tested.

    Either way, his research raises the question of whether people
    suffering from ADHD and conditions related to it, such as addiction,
    are misfits coping with a genetic legacy that was useful in the
    evolutionary past, but is now damaging. As society continues to diverge
    from that evolutionary past, the economic and social consequences of
    being such a misfit may become increasingly important.



    See this article with graphics and related items at http://www.economist.com/science/dis...ry_id=11529402
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith P View Post
    Tell em to fuck and offer him the opportunity to ride the hershey highway if he ever decides to get off the scarlet letter express.
    Quote Originally Posted by hepkatmama View Post
    this board has the attention span of a chimpanzee on xanax with the munchies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysos View Post
    Because the only thing that gets glitter off a suit is stripper tears.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Nudist Buddhist View Post
    Who's my favorite DJ? You're my favorite DJ, yes you are. A boogie boogie boo. Yes you are!

  2. #2
    The Puncher of Cocks Cock Puncher's Avatar
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    I don't believe in adhd
    Quote Originally Posted by Deff Gordon View Post
    all women are bad drivers
    Quote Originally Posted by Damnsammit View Post
    Someone should have put out the memo that Robin would fuck for coke a few years back when she was still hot.
    Quote Originally Posted by alexican View Post
    we already have a fernie and her name is robin

  3. #3
    umalak_'s Avatar
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    you read the economist?
    "The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."
    - Hawthorne (Young Goodman Brown)

    "Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
    - Thoreau (Resistance To Civil Government)

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer."
    - Thoreau (Walden)

  4. #4
    Delfonic's Avatar
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    my add is too crazy to concentrate on reading the whole thing

  5. #5
    neither here nor there lysistrata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umalak_ View Post
    you read the economist?
    sometimes. but no, this was sent to me by a friend. who knows i have ADHD. why does it surprise you that i might read the economist, hmm? it shouldn't. though, i haven't really read anything that wasn't for my thesis in about, oh, a year and a half. my program is in the process of getting a Ph.D. approved too, so there's no fucking end in sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delfonic View Post
    my add is too crazy to concentrate on reading the whole thing
    i did the same thing. i had to come back to it twice to get through the whole thing. fucking lolz!
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith P View Post
    Tell em to fuck and offer him the opportunity to ride the hershey highway if he ever decides to get off the scarlet letter express.
    Quote Originally Posted by hepkatmama View Post
    this board has the attention span of a chimpanzee on xanax with the munchies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysos View Post
    Because the only thing that gets glitter off a suit is stripper tears.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Nudist Buddhist View Post
    Who's my favorite DJ? You're my favorite DJ, yes you are. A boogie boogie boo. Yes you are!

  6. #6
    Delfonic's Avatar
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    :/

  7. #7
    28:06:42:12 MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delfonic View Post
    my add is too crazy to concentrate on reading the whole thing
    I started to take the add test in 10th grade, but it was too long and i got bored, so I quit taking it and left.

    True story.
    I am mad all the time because I suffer from hemorrhoid rage.
    Gretchen: You're weird.
    Donnie: Sorry.
    Gretchen: No, that was a compliment.
    I owe you nothing. And you are nothing to me. Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with love.

    28:06:42:12

  8. #8
    Delfonic's Avatar
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    thanks for fucking sharing

  9. #9
    Assrapey Sharkman PETA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delfonic View Post
    my add is too crazy to concentrate on reading the whole thing
    tell me about it

  10. #10
    umalak_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lysistrata View Post
    why does it surprise you that i might read the economist, hmm? it shouldn't.
    no, i wasn't meaning it was a bad thing... the economist is good.
    "The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."
    - Hawthorne (Young Goodman Brown)

    "Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
    - Thoreau (Resistance To Civil Government)

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer."
    - Thoreau (Walden)

  11. #11
    28:06:42:12 MacGyver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delfonic View Post
    thanks for fucking sharing

    That was very mean to say, now I am crying.
    I am mad all the time because I suffer from hemorrhoid rage.
    Gretchen: You're weird.
    Donnie: Sorry.
    Gretchen: No, that was a compliment.
    I owe you nothing. And you are nothing to me. Thank you for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with love.

    28:06:42:12

  12. #12

    Join Date
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    I don't have ADHD, but the drugs I take for it are pretty cool.
    I'm just going for the music..

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