This article discusses the reciprocal gene-environment model. This hypothesis postulates that genetic predisposition is the cause of a physiological response, not vice versa.
This hypothesis is based on mounting evidence that has demonstrated that even in the absence of significant genetic risk factors, many psychiatric disorders can still be triggered or exacerbated by environmental stressors.
Some information is here about the reciprocal gene-environment model.
Reciprocal Gene Environment Model: What it Means and Why It Matters
You may have heard about “the gene-environment model” before, but what does this mean? In a nutshell, the gene-environment model is a scientific theory about how genes and environment work together to affect health and development.
As explained in this article by Dr. Steven J. Reich, this model predicts that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in how health and disease develop over time.
The Gene-Environment Model explains Reciprocal Interactions Between Genes and the Environment
In addition to the genetic influences of environmental exposure, it is important to consider the reciprocal interactions between genes and environment. This article discusses the reciprocal interactions between genes, environment and health.
Here are some points discussed about the Reciprocal gene-
1. Molecular genetics has identified specific genes.
Gene polymorphisms associated with schizophrenia that are involved in regulating serotonin. This well-known hypothesis, the so-called “two-hit” hypothesis, is based on mounting evidence that the majority of people with a psychiatric disorder (even in the absence of significant genetic risk factors) can still be triggered or exacerbated by environmental stressors.
The reciprocal gene-environment model holds that environmental factors are changes to molecular circuits inducing these changes, not vice versa. These findings suggest that this pathway may be abnormal due to a molecule called “toxic RNA” which is a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP). SNPs are single nucleotide changes found in the genetic code.
This study suggests that genes can be involved in the development of psychological disorders and this is mainly due to polymorphisms.
2. It is important to consider how both genetic and environmental influences interact.
The phenotype is not just a reflection of one or the other, but a mixture of both. This can be demonstrated by comparing people living in different environments, even within a single country for example. It is also important to consider how genetic and environmental interactions are modified by an individual’s behavior and other environmental factors.
If a disease process is influenced by the environment, then the disease process must interact with it as well.
This means that if a person lives in a neighborhood where many people smoke this could mean that their risk for lung cancer will increase compared to others who do not live in areas with large smoking populations.
3. The environment is not the only source of environmental change.
There are many other environmental factors that can impact a person’s health and development, and this includes how a person lives their lives in general, including the number of hours someone spends on sleep or the amount of time between meals.
This article discusses some philosophical objections to the hypothesis. This essay discusses how genetic influences may be influenced by some of these variables, making the model far from perfect.
4. Environmental toxicity can affect gene activity.
Many different mechanisms may predispose a person to an adverse health outcome such as cancer or mental illness. This article discusses how epigenetic factors play into the development of these diseases and how environmental toxins can affect this process.
This paper investigates the possibility that some environments lead to maladaptive behaviors like smoking, which may in turn activate genes related to nicotine dependence-related diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene function that are not caused by changes in DNA sequence. Epigenetic modifications to DNA can be produced by a variety of different mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone modification and more.
5. Most environmental toxins should be eliminated from the environment.
Many environmental toxins are known to alter human health. The body’s immune system plays a major role in maintaining homeostasis through the regulation of various chemical mechanisms, including the production and responses of inflammatory cytokines, as well as immune cell differentiation.
This article discusses how this occurs and how avoidable diseases can be prevented by limiting exposure to these toxins. This study focuses on how our lifestyle choices and behaviors can impact our susceptibility to age-related diseases.
Because different lifestyles may influence the development of different diseases, lifestyle changes may play an important role in preventing or delaying effects of aging on health-related outcomes associated with aging.