Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Have Mental Disorders Developed Through Human Evolution?

Human Evolution has caused the human genome to change over time. A new study has found that the genes that are involved in bad backs and impacted wisdom teeth have changed over many years to make people more susceptible to several mental disorders such as, schizophrenia and many others. The evolution of the human family tree, humans begin to walk upright which contributes to many common aches in the lower back and knees that we currently suffer from today. Many of the evolutionary changes that have happened over time contribute to more than just our outside appearance. Mental disorders effects many individuals worldwide. 3% of the world population is affected by bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. It is believed that due to evolutionary changes, the structure of the human brains size and structure is now different.

A certain gene that was discovered for a protein called CACNA1C. In the process of neurotransmitters communicating with neurons is all happening because of the CACNA1C gene by control the flow of calcium inside and outside of the cell. CACNA1C is linked to issues regarding mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression etc., in earlier studies. The main focus on this gene was the "non-coding" element that don't have what they need to build the CACNA1C  rotein.  After comparing different human genomes around the globe, they saw that there was variation in a certain region of the gene. This discovery of the CACNA1C gene could be playing a role in the development of mental disorders across all humans. Over the next however many years, this could change the development of mental disorders all over the world. I strongly believe that this could work if studied more thoroughly. This discovery can help with developing medicines and determine any risk factors that could be present in someone's DNA.


  1. I found this article very interesting how certain genes associated with bad backs has changed so much over time that it now makes people more prone to getting mental disorders. I agree that if scientists continue to study this gene in depth we will be able to have a better understanding and control of mental disorders, being able to help those who need it in then end.

  2. I think when most people, including myself, think about human evolution, they associate it with outer appearance and how a part of the body changes over time in order to help better one's life, but the idea that mental disorders also evolves in fascinating to me as well. I hope more research is done on this because mental health is an extremely sensitive issue.