View Full Version : Cluster of Gigantism in Ulster, Ireland

19-10-16, 01:33
Apparently, the mutation is about 2500 years old.


"In Mid-Ulster, about 1 in 150 people carry a genetic mutation to the AIP gene that leads to an overproduction of growth hormone resulting in acromegaly, also known as gigantism. The hormone disorder is spurred by a tumor on the pituitary gland, a pea-sized organ at the base of the brain."

"In children, there's rapid growth, which can be accompanied by joint pain, disabling headaches, vision problems, type II diabetes, facial distortion and enlarged hands and feet. In adults, if symptoms develop late, adults don't get taller, because their bones are already fused and may in fact shrink due to developing a curvature in the spine. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, hypertension and difficulty sleeping."While these people might look big and powerful and strong, the long-term effects of excess IGF-1 and growth hormone are very disabling for these patients," explains Anthony Heaney, endocrinologist and professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)."

"To Heaney, who hails from Northern Ireland, it makes a lot of sense that a cluster of individuals prone to gigantism have been found in Mid-Ulster, not only because of the fame of giants like Bryne, but also the folklore of the region, specifically the myth of giant Fionn mac Cumhaill. The legend goes that mac Cumhaill created the Isle of Man by hurtling a piece of land torn from a lake known today as Loch Neagh and created the Giant's Causeway, an interlocking series of basalt rocks that lead out to the ocean, to the Scottish giant Benandonner."

19-10-16, 13:21
Ah, so they finally found an explanation for the Giant's Causeway ! It could have been built by giants after all. :grin: