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View Full Version : The origins of acromegaly: is it from interbreeding with Neanderthals?



Tomenable
01-05-2016, 12:38 AM
Is it possible that acromegaly is caused by a mutation inherited from Neanderthals?

Perhaps you have heard about a Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev, who looks a bit "Neanderthal".

He has acromegaly, but I'm wondering whether it could be of Neanderthal origin.

Acromegaly is associated, among other health problems, with hypertension (high blood pressure).

But here is what I found about high blood pressure in animals:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25140012

http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/49/2/260.full


'high blood-pressure animals' have better capillarization of the peripheral tissues allowing high endurance performance.

So acromegaly apparently increases endurance performance, something which could be useful in prehistory (or today in boxing - surprise!).

Many things which are considered "diseases" today were probably useful, prehistoric adaptations.

Today high blood pressure may cause a person die relatively younger.

But in prehistoric times a mammoth was more likely to kill you much sooner than hypertension!

While today high blood pressure is considered a "disease" because one might die at age 65 instead of at age 95 because of it, in prehistoric times it could be beneficial because it could save you from being killed by a mammoth or something, at age 35, for example.

Another example of something which is now considered a "disease" but was useful in our violent past, is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factor_V_Leiden

Today Factor V Leiden may cause a person die younger, but in the past it could help you survive a battle.

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 12:40 AM
Is acromegaly present in populations with close to ~0% Neanderthal ancestry (Sub-Saharans) ???

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 12:43 AM
For reference:

Neanderthal man (left), boxer Nikolai Valuev who has been diagnosed with a condition of acromegaly (right):

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0hSMHzEKK9k/VcoRzxyKyQI/AAAAAAAAFkc/Zl23tvfPNog/s1600/neanderthal-side-tobiasjacobsen1.jpg

http://www.koanicsoul.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nikolai_Valuev.jpg

http://s4.postimg.org/yfmdrvswd/Neanderthal.pnghttp://www.koanicsoul.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nikolai_Valuev.jpg

Gravetto-Danubian
01-05-2016, 12:45 AM
Ha ha
No
It's due to a pituitary Tumor which over-secretes growth hormone. It's maladaptive- as it causes diabetes, cardiac failure, hypertension and accelerated arthritis

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 12:48 AM
Hmmm, but what if Neanderthals had it, and got extinct because of it ??? :biggrin1:

Is it genetically heritable or non-heritable, by the way? Why does this tumor grow?

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 12:52 AM
Neanderthals accumulated many maladaptive mutations due to excessive inbreeding - according to:

Kelley Harris, Rasmus Nielsen, "The Genetic Cost of Neanderthal Introgression":

http://biorxiv.org/content/early/2015/10/31/030387


using previously published estimates of inbreeding in Neanderthals, and of the distribution of fitness effects from human protein coding genes, we show that the average Neanderthal would have had at least 40% lower fitness than the average human due to higher levels of inbreeding and an increased mutational load

Anyway - in case of Valuev, his acromegaly does NOT seem to be a major obstacle in his boxing career.

Gravetto-Danubian
01-05-2016, 12:58 AM
Hmmm, but what if Neanderthals had it, and got extinct because of it ??? :biggrin1:

Is it genetically heritable or non-heritable, by the way? Why does this tumor grow?

Pituitary adenoma usually occurs idiopathically. Ie just 'bad luck'. It is usually a benign tumor, ie not invasive cancer.

The pituitary gland is like a little sac behind the frontal sinus complex (just behind the nose and eyes). The first symptom of pituitary tumor is often disturbed vision due to compression of the optic nerve tracts (a 'tunnelling").

But less commonly it can grow in people with genetically inherited Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome, see (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pituitary_adenoma#Risk_factors)

The robustness of Neadertals was due to other reasons than Pituitary dysfunction. Their extinction is a whole other topic which Im sure has been dealt with amply elsewhere.

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 01:01 AM
Does this "bad luck" also happen among Sub-Saharan Africans, though ???


Pituitary adenoma usually occurs idiopathically

So basically "unknown cause". Well, this doesn't rule out Neanderthal input.

Maybe the genetic cause has not yet been identified.

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 01:07 AM
Prevalence Rate for Acromegaly is approximately 1 in 25,000 in the USA.

What is its Prevalence Rate in Sub-Saharan Africa, though ???

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 01:21 AM
Polish wrestler Leon Pinecki, height: 203 cm, arm span: 245 cm, weight: 128 kg (but his head doesn't look as if he had acromegaly):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1cwT7kBq4

Krefter
01-05-2016, 01:27 AM
Polish wrestler Leon Pinecki, height: 203 cm, arm span: 245 cm, weight: 128 kg (but his head doesn't look as if he had acromegaly):


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1cwT7kBq4

LOL. It's unfair when elephants are too fat to get up after falling. The elephants legs were too strong for the wrestler to keep down.

Arbogan
01-05-2016, 01:32 AM
It's basically a benign tumour that disrupts the HPTA system by oversecreting GH. It has nothing to do with neanderthals. You can get micro-tumours anywhere. And depending the system that it affects it can result in various sequele. It sounds impressive because of its affects on antgromorphic dimensions and it's note worthy. But its still a disease. Like gravetto-danubian remarked earlier in the thread. It's related to a slew of co-morbid conditions that can result from the disease state. Including enlarged organs, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, heart issues.

Gravetto-Danubian
01-05-2016, 02:17 AM
Of course, the largest cause these days of excess GH is GH abuse by body-builders, wrestlers, and the guys from Jersey Shore. :)

Tomenable
01-05-2016, 02:37 AM
LOL. It's unfair when elephants are too fat to get up after falling. The elephants legs were too strong for the wrestler to keep down.

It is possible that it is all fake and the elephant was actually trained to lay down, who knows. :biggrin1:

But maybe, just maybe, he really defeated that elephant:

https://audiovis.nac.gov.pl/i/SM0/SM0_1-S-3411-1.jpg

(Pinecki in New York City in 1932 with his manager Jack Pfefer)

J Man
01-05-2016, 05:20 PM
Ha ha
No
It's due to a pituitary Tumor which over-secretes growth hormone. It's maladaptive- as it causes diabetes, cardiac failure, hypertension and accelerated arthritis

This.

arthur215
01-05-2016, 09:43 PM
very interesting theory.

i have acromegaly y vleyden aswell jaja

Arbogan
01-06-2016, 02:39 PM
Its one of the diseases that gives some physical advantage though. Who'd not want to be large and intimidating. Some pro wrestlers have had it and are probably amongst the largest and physically robust humans, out there. Because of its affects on bone growth. It could confer some large advantages for strength athletes f.ex. Large joints have larger mice insertions.

arthur215
01-06-2016, 07:48 PM
Its one of the diseases that gives some physical advantage though. Who'd not want to be large and intimidating. Some pro wrestlers have had it and are probably amongst the largest and physically robust humans, out there. Because of its affects on bone growth. It could confer some large advantages for strength athletes f.ex. Large joints have larger mice insertions.

You forgot the disadvantages, high blood pressure, diabetes, joint problems. and tumor mass effects: vision loss, hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, etc ...aH! and a gift a huge jaw.