(June/July, 1999)

Two out of Many: Genetic Confirmation?
from Simon W.

Until recently, I thought I was the only member of our family (both nuclear and extended, and believe me, it's a very extended family) to have the dreaded P. Then the other week, my mother informed me that one of her cousins had it. So in my case, I think the genetic link has been fairly well proven. Odd that no one else in the family seems to have developed it yet .

I saw your pictures of Kentucky, and, strangely enough, they're very reminiscent of parts of County Durham. It's a pity I have neither scanner nor digital camera to send you any pictures. -Simon W.


Ed's Response: Some would say only yourself and a cousin being Ps, out of all those family members, suggests a weak genetic link or random chance. Point is, now that the scientists believe P may result from the interaction of several genes (i.e., no single "on/off switch") the mathematics of probability get extremely complicated, even within families. I believe that because you have P, others in your family carry some or all of the genetic proclivity to be flakers. You and your cousin were the unlucky ones with enough of the genetic variables to manifest the disease.

I'm not surprised at all that my Kentucky pictures accompanying May's Briefing reminded you of County Durham. One of the reasons I live in Kentucky is its similarity to parts of the British Isles, which I visited briefly in the 1980s and with which I fell completely in love. -Ed

Back to Archives