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Member's Update:

Hello everyone, 

This Member's Update brings you several Genetic Lifehacks articles on stress-related genes.  

Around the world, everyone seems to be stressed out!  People are worried about getting sick, the upcoming election, being under lockdown, job insecurity, kids at home -- the list goes on!   Personally, I'm usually a fairly even-keeled person.  But I'm in the midst of selling my home and moving, which has ratcheted up my stress level considerably. 

Your genetic variants impact how you physically respond to stress. Some people are more resilient, and some battle a greater physiological change. 

I hope these articles bring you some insight into how you react to stress, and perhaps some appreciation that other people's physical response may be different than yours.

~ Debbie Moon

Stress, Cortisol, Anxiety & Sleep
HPA Axis Dysfunction: Genes and Environment

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in times of stress, and it also plays many roles in your normal bodily functions. It is a multi-purpose hormone that needs to be in the right amount (not too high, not too low) and at the right time. Your genes play a big role in how likely you are to have problems with cortisol.

Read this member's only article
Stress causing you sleepless nights? Check GABRA6, PER2, and TPH2 genes
Using your genetic data to solve sleep problems

A good night’s sleep is invaluable – priceless, even – but so many people know the frustration of not being able to regularly sleep well.

Not getting enough quality sleep can lead to many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, dementia, and heart disease. There are many factors involved in sleeping well, and genetics plays a role in some sleep disorders. Looking at the genetic basis of sleep disorders may give you ideas on which path to take to fix the problem.

Read the article, see your data
Stressed to the point of anxiety?
Genetics and Anxiety

Did you know that about 1 in 5 people will deal with an anxiety disorder at some point in life? 

From generalized anxiety to separation anxiety to panic disorder – there are underlying physiological and genetic factors involved.

Read the article, see your data
Boosting BDNF for resilience and brain power
BDNF variants: introversion, stress resilience, cognition

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that works in the central and peripheral nervous system to promote nerve function and growth. It also works in the neurons of the brain both in forming neurons and in long-term memory formation. Chronic stress can cause a decrease in BDNF, impacting cognitive function in people with BDNF variants.

Read this member's only article
Research Roundup
MRI & PET scans on brains of COVID patients who lost their sense of smell

Researchers from Belgium did MRIs and PET scans on the brains of 12 COVID-19 patients with a sudden loss of smell.  They found that the loss of smell was NOT due to "central involvement due to SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasiveness".  Instead, there were cellular metabolic changes in the olfactory regions and alterations to the part of the nasal cavity where the olfactory receptors are located.

Many headlines and social media posts have proclaimed that the loss of smell in COVID was proof that the central nervous system had been invaded and damaged. Turns out that the MRIs and PET scans show a completely different picture, and a good reminder of why the research needs to be done instead of speculating about a cause. 

Read more
Melatonin study for middle-aged primary insomnia

A new clinical trial shows that melatonin supplementation is effective for middle-aged people with insomnia. Specifically, this placebo-controlled clinical trial showed that 3 mg of melatonin reduced early waking insomnia, but that it didn't cure other types of insomnia.

Read more

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