ADAPT­ING TO THE COLD GAVE US THE MI­GRAINES

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Have You Heard? -

Mi­graine is a de­bil­i­tat­ing neu­ro­log­i­cal disor­der that af­fects mil­lions world­wide. The per­cent­age of peo­ple who suf­fer from the disor­der varies across hu­man pop­u­la­tions, but is high­est in in­di­vid­u­als of Euro­pean de­scent, which is also the pop­u­la­tion with the high­est fre­quency of the cold-adap­tive vari­ant, the study said. The in­d­ings sug­gest that adap­ta­tion to cold tem­per­a­tures in early hu­man pop­u­la­tions may have con­trib­uted, to some ex­tent, to the vari­a­tion in mi­graine preva­lence that ex­ists among hu­man groups to­day. “This study nicely shows how past evo­lu­tion­ary pres­sures can in­lu­ence present-day phe­no­types,”

said study co-au­thor Felix Key of Max Planck In­sti­tute for Evo­lu­tion­ary An­thro­pol­ogy in Ger­many. Within the last 50,000 years, some hu­mans left the warm cli­mate of Africa to colonise colder lo­cales in Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world. “This coloni­sa­tion could have been ac­com­pa­nied by ge­netic adap­ta­tions that helped early hu­mans re­spond to cold tem­per­a­tures,” said Aida An­dres, also from Max Planck In­sti­tute for Evo­lu­tion­ary An­thro­pol­ogy. Cur­rently, the per­cent­age of peo­ple in a pop­u­la­tion that carry the vari­ant in­creases at higher lat­i­tudes and with colder cli­mates, the study said.

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