There seems to be quite a bit of interest going on in the LC Hardcore at the moment and I'm sat here, under my stone, looking at UCPs as prime mediators of the insulin resistance of fasting and membrane pumps in the origin of life as relates to lactate and extracellular pH in cancer. And I should really be working on a dead-lined anaesthesia project. Wooo and Toxic ("I read your potatoes, and the news will never be good" LMAO) have both brought up 23andme and, surprise surprise, Wooo has enough snps on assorted ion channel genes to have her in a loony bin several times over. She concludes that a ketogenic diet gets her a normal life.
Obviously I have nothing to disagree with here.
What I would comment on is that a very, very large chunk of the "normal" population may not be quite as normal as she suspects. Having frank bipolar disease with severe enough presentation to give you a clear cut "label" is quite rare. Having severe depression to the point of complete loss of functionality or schizophrenia to the point of obeying the voices completely, whatever they command, are all equally rare. But shades of grey appear to be very common and I don't see that many normal people are all that normal. Undoubtedly we all have snps on all sorts of genes. That's genetic variability and is essential to provide a pool for the species to adapt through.
That many mental illnesses are essentially metabolic, and that ion channels have a great deal to do with neural energy demands, is not exactly unexpected. Sid Dishes emailed me this rather interesting review (BTW finding this in Nature is rather like reading a massive endorsement of the Atkins diet in the Sun or the Daily Mail, Sid feels paradigm shift) looking at exactly the metabolic aspect. Yet another email needing a thankyou not sent yet. Thanks Sid. Look at this quote from the abstract talking about central neurons:
"it is now clear that they [psychiatric illnesses] are associated with impairments of synaptic plasticity"
and tie that back to peripheral neuropathy, here's Chowdhury on peripheral nerves:
"The consequences of suboptimal ATP supply for the distal nerve fiber are numerous: (1) collateral sprouting and plasticity will be retarded, (2) this will lead to gradual pruning of the axonal network and shrinkage of sensory innervation fields, and (3) end organs of myelinated fibers within the dermis will lose innervation and function (see Fig. 3)"
The parallels, to me, make it sound like we are talking about the same process. I would suggest that hyperglycaemia breaks the mitochondrial population and ketosis is an excellent sticking plaster. Which snps you have determine which neurons break first.
If you also have metabolic snps which limit your ability to avoid hyperglycaemia on the SAD in addition to neural snps which make for "upper limit of normality" energy demands within hyperglycaemia compromised neurons, you are on your way to the Funny Farm. Or a ketogenic diet.
I, for one, am very glad Wooo hit the ketogenic diet arm.
I have said that I think it is unlikely that humans are in any way adapted to a diet which regularly and severely induces hyperglycaemia. Had Wooo been born in to a normoglycaemic environment, what would the effect have been of her ion channel snps on perception?
If you think Wooo is "normal", you are crazy.
Personally, I think we need people who are three standard deviations from the population norm when it comes to insight and perception. This may well be down to ion channels and snps of the Wooo flavour... I don't see that we would get too far, species wise, if we were all Taterheads with ion channels which allowed tolerance of hyperglycaemia until Alzheimers (type 3 diabetes) kicked in, and yet only allowed as much insight in to anything as a turnip has. Of the latter, there is a lot of it about, we have more than enough.
Blog on Wooo.