Introducing EpiGenetics (Alzheimers)

Myron Norman

Brain Health & Nutrition

"I write about the brain."

Exceprt from the book Fear Code, A Genetic Discovery of God and Man, by Myron Norman

In order to fully grasp the power of fear (and our inherited ability to conquer fear), you will need a simple explanation of epigenetics. Allow me to introduce you to an example of epigenetics in motion - if you don't already know.

Consider Alzheimer’s—a neurological disease that progressively destroys memory, cognition and mental health. If you didn't know, Alzheimer’s disease is actually a gene (APOE-epsilon-4 Allele Gene). Modern research has shown that Alzheimer's can be influenced by ancestral and/or environmental influences (i.e., social influences, weather, dietary intake, ancestral, mental and emotional health etc).

When a person is born with a gene such as the Alzheimer’s gene, they have what is called a genetic disposition. The environment plays a significant part in bending that disposition toward expressing itself through disease or simply remaining dormant. Follow me as I delve deeper into this.

At the University of New England Center for Global Humanities (October 14th, 2013), Dr. Neal Barnard (Best Selling Author of the book Power Foods for the Brain and Founding President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) explained that a person has 3 times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s if one of his/her parents had the gene. If both parents had the gene, the risk was said to be 10 times to 15 times the risk. This would seem to imply that our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is significantly tied to whether we’ve inherited it from our ancestors.

Dr. Barnard—one of America’s leading advocates for health and nutritional research—is known for research and public advocacy that highlights the impact nutrition has on our long and short-term cognitive abilities. Simply put, Dr. Barnard’s assertion is that both our family history (inherited) and nutritional intake (environmental) can impact the expression (manifestation of diseases, illnesses linked to a specific gene) of already existing genes (good or bad).

This means that a person who has already inherited the Alzheimer’s gene is not 'bound' to succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease (I discuss this at length in my book Lifesaving FAQs of How Food Reversed My Brain Damage). For decades it was believed that inherited genealogy was final. However, modern and more accurate research technologies have challenged that belief suggesting and according to some researchers, proving that heritable genes can be changed. In other words, a person who has inherited the Alzheimer’s gene (or may be at risk) has the power to minimize or influence whether or not the Alzheimer’s gene is expressed.

Researchers and scientists have long discovered that genes can pass down from person to person within a single family tree. However, the proof of genes being reversible or transferable has not always existed.

In 1958, British Molecular Biologist and Neuroscientist Francis Crick first stated the Central Dogma. The Central Dogmas is a theory that suggests our genetic makeup is final and irreversible. Humans were therefore understood as victims of genetic inheritance or luck of the draw. While this theory gained momentum throughout academic circles, the theory would be challenged over time.

To sum it all up—certain environments or circumstances can cause chemical changes in our bodies that can switch certain genes (either bad/good) on and off. Bad genes can be diseases or terminal illnesses and so on. Good genes can be genes that help us live ‘a more abundant life’ (John 10:10).

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Myron Norman

Brain Health & Nutrition Writer