Neanderthal DNA may predispose some people to nicotine addiction, mood disorders

“This is a study of 28,000 people by evolutionary geneticists. It helps understand that some of the maladies we have some from “bad code.” The original study is here for more details: .” Bill Chesnut, MD

Nicotine addiction and mood disorders associated with Neanderthal Genes.    “Neanderthal DNA may predispose some people to nicotine addiction, mood disorders.”

The Washington Post (2/11, Nutt) reports in “Speaking of Science” that the “first-ever study directly comparing Neanderthal DNA to the human genome confirmed a wide range of health-related associations.” Lead author John Capra, PhD, an evolutionary geneticist at Vanderbilt University, said, “Our main finding is that Neanderthal DNA does influence clinical traits in modern humans.” The article explains that “snippets of Neanderthal DNA contribute to the contemporary risk for myriad ills, including heart attack, nicotine addiction, and mood disorders as well as incontinence, foot calluses and precancerous skin lesions.”

The Wall Street Journal (2/11, Long, Subscription Publication) reports that to arrive at these conclusions, the researchers compared electronic health records from 28,000 people of European ancestry with genomes from fossilized Neanderthal bones. The study was published online in the journal Science.