Mutations That Change Your Heart and Your Brain

Thirteen percent of newborns with congenital heart disease (CHD) also have¬†congenital abnormalities that don’t affect the heart. This is twice the rate at which they appear in newborns without heart problems. Infants with CHD are also at an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders later in life, like motor, social, language, and cognitive impairments.

These elevated risks were thought to be caused by poor circulation during gestation or the stresses imposed by postnatal therapies. But a new study suggests that both types of abnormality are actually due to mutations in genes highly expressed in the developing heart and brain. Results are published in Science.

Source: Mutations that change your heart and your brain

Interventions in early development often require referral during the first three years, but due to variability in early development, a child may effectively “fly under the radar” because they are mildly delayed, but showing just enough progress to be deferred until later. Many pediatricians may not make an early referral for these reasons and the child may show up for a first developmental evaluation (specialist) around age 4 or 5 years. By this point a lot of opportunity has been missed and other skills (e.g., social skills) may begin to lag behind due to increased frustration and aggression (and lots of disciplinary incidents).

This knowledge may help flag a child as being at greater risk and result in earlier pediatrician referrals, thus catching the problem earlier.

Study: BPS, BPA Alternative, Just as Bad

In a groundbreaking study, researchers have shown why a chemical once thought to be a safe alternative to bisphenol-A, which was abandoned by manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups after a public outcry, might itself be more harmful than BPA.

…BPA is an industrial chemical found in many polycarbonate plastics as well as epoxy resins, which are used to coat the inside of food cans. Over the past few years, dozens of studies have linked BPA, which mimics estrogen, with prostate cancer, infertility, asthma, heart disease and a number of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Source: BPA alternative disrupts normal brain-cell growth, is tied to hyperactivity, study says

Plastics are made from petroleum and a vast array of crazy modifying chemicals. We add chemicals to them to make them weatherproof, to color them, to prevent the color from bleeding, to prevent the plastic from hardening, to allow them to resist high temperature, to be soft, etc. Pretty much all of these chemicals are some form of noxious, often featuring a solvent, a chemical group that’s hardly ever friendly. The original petroleum product isn’t much better. At what point will we stop being surprised that petroleum products are unhealthy?

Look around your desk and ask which products will stop existing when we run out of oil. I’ll give you a hint, it’s anything with plastic in it.