The "Warrior Gene"
The "Warrior Gene", is it a deficiency or a blessing? There's been a study on an MAO-A deficiency that hinders the reduction of the amount of hormones/bio-chemicals neurotransmitters have dispatched. Read the article, click on the links, and read about what one-third of the western hemisphere and two-thirds of what the rest of this world are born with, or, is it, without?.
What Is It?
In the brain there are three neurotransmitters -- dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin -- these three listed are broken down by an enzyme (protein) called Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior_gene#Warrior_gene), which is produced in human beings by the MAO-A gene. The MAO-A enzyme counteracts and reduces the amount of dopamine, norepinephrine and seratonin that the brains neurotransmitters have dispatched (amounts are determined by the degree of provocation). This enzyme (protein) is assigned to the outer mitochondrial membrane (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_mitochondrial_membrane) where The MAO-A gene is next to the related gene conveniently named MAO-B, located on the opposite strand of the X Chromosome. A mutation in this gene is responsible for a monoamine oxidase deficiency (MAOA-L -- women aren't born this way, studies show that the second X chromosome in women keeps their MAO-A balanced) called Brunner Syndrome: Brunner explained that, "MAO-A deficiency is associated with a recognizable behavioural phenotype that included disturbed regulation of impulsive aggression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunner_syndrome)."
Picture Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=your-mama-or-your-maoa
Impulsive Aggression V.S. Risk Taking/Decision Making
The discovery of the "Warrior Gene" has been an eyeopener in learning why some people are more aggressive than others -- impulsive aggression, violence, and mood swings can now be explained as a deficiency in MAO-A for at least one-third of the western hemisphere of the world, and close to two thirds in other countries outside the Western hemisphere (environment plays a big roll, so those that have witnessed or have fought in wars, in example, would be more likely carriers of this deficiency).
Those that might be deficient are gangsters, police officers, veterans, and those who make better choices, wait, what? Yes, better choices. A new study states that the MAOA-L could also mean that those with this absence of enzyme are better, more successful risk takers (choice makers) than those who have normal levels. Some say that this "Deficiency" is actually a sign of further evolution -- evolving into people who are taking an even bigger interest in themselves, their survival and success. Without a certain amount of risks one will never see success, but, if it was written in someones genes to take risks, imagine how rewarded that person would be if it was also written in his genes to take these risks without impulse. To shoot for his goals without fear, he won't or can't stop because he was born that way, and he was raised in an environment filled with goal oriented family members.
Picture Source: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2009/05/18/caregiver-series-dementia-alzheimers-anger-and-aggression/
Do I Have It?
The first time I heard about the "Warrior Gene" I thought it was just another ridiculous claim to explain behavior, but, after researching it for myself I became very interested. Do I have it? While watching the YouTube clip (http://youtu.be/35cOqZI067E) I found that I could relate with the people interviewed. I could relate to the feeling of being angry for no good reason, just angry, I could relate to the successful millionaire's undying devotion to sticking with excellence. taking that risk, and doing everything he can to keep his visions and goals a reality until the day he dies. I haven't seen my success yet but, I know what I want and I'm working hard towards it, and it doesn't feel right to not work for my goals -- making all the necessary sacrifices to get there.
Do I have this "Deficiency"? I'll never know unless I get tested (http://www.thewarriorgene.com/).
Picture source: http://maccheeky.com/blog/?attachment_id=472