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Health and Healing in Prehistoric TimesNeanderthals became extinct 20000-30000 years back. They are the species ofarchaic human. These species were spread across Europe, Asia and MiddleEast. Neanderthals had a caring feeling and strong social bond among eachother towards each other. Neanderthal was genetically different from Homosapiens (Present day modern human). They had different phenotype from themodern day human. From the skeletons found it has been seen that theylooked stocky, barrel-chested and brutish. The Neanderthals health has been atopic to study. Some of their genetics has been passed on to us. Neanderthalsoriginated in Africa. From there they spread to rest of the globe. Theyeventually had kids with the Homo sapiens. Hence our genetic has some partof Neanderthal genes. From this there, health can be studied. For example-Neanderthal gene shows a better version of blood clotting genes. This washelpful to them in healing. This helped them in gaining quick recovery afterwound and cuts which were very common in their times. They had betterchances of survival. Neanderthals are our closest relatives. Once they musthave cross breed with a human. Through genetic study on modern humans, ithas been found out that Neanderthal had DNA which caused skin cells to grow.This is known as keratinocytes. These usually protect them from sun andultraviolet rays. From the there genetic study it has been found thatNeanderthal DNA has increased the risk of various life threatening factors likestroke, miscarriage etc. Neanderthal genes were also susceptible todepression. Also, our tendency towards tobacco addiction is also taken fromour Neanderthal cousins. We have found 12 traits in Neanderthals includingthe tendency of immune issues , heart attack and other blood disorder whichis present in modern day human. Hypercoagulability is a feature ofNeanderthal blood. In this, the blood coagulates very fast. It prevents the entryof microbes in the wound. The faster the wound closes lesser are the chancesof infection. But as this hypercoagulation was blessing in Neanderthal times, italso causes increased risk of stroke, embolism and complicated pregnancy inthe modern age. As in those times, there was no treatment available for thesediseases Neanderthals had very lower life expectancy.Sickle cell anaemia is a hereditary condition. It is quite possible that thesegenetic conditions evolved to protect our ancestors from the worse medical
condition. It could cost them their life. This genetic condition took thousandsof years to evolve. Sickle cell anaemia is a very severe health condition whichthe red blood cells took a curved crescent-like shape. This affects the oxygencarrying capacity of the cell. This condition also protects from malaria. It wasdeadly in those times. Sickle cells keep the malaria parasite out from the blood.It does not allow the malaria parasite to survive. This condition mainly affectspeople of African, Caribbean, middle eastern and Asian origin. Malaria is anever present danger in these geographies.Schistosomiasis , this is also known as snail fever. This is caused by parasitesknown as schistosomes. The disease is mainly caused when there is contactwith contaminated fresh water with this parasite. It is called snail feverbecause these parasites are released from infected snails into the fresh waterstreams. This generally causes bloody stools and diarrhoea. Like any otherrace. Neanderthal also developed and hunted in the banks of the river. Fromthe river, they used to get food and drinkable water. As there was no conceptof water treatment in those times there were many water-borne diseasesprevalent. They used to drink this water causing them infection by thisparasite. Although Neanderthals have spread almost all parts of the world. Butthis disease condition was prevalent in ones living on the banks of rivers.Trypanosomiasis , it is the name of several diseases , it is caused by protozoa.This is the cause of many diseases in modern human and Neanderthals. This iscaused by the bite of the tsetse fly. After that, there is the development of redchancre sore. The person experiences fever, swollen lymph nodes and bloodyurine. This is very common on the African continent. In the next stage of thisdeadly disease, there are alterations in human personality. There is a severeeffect on the biological clock. There can be seizures and also difficulty inwalking and talking. This disease was very common in Neanderthals. There isno such prevention of this disease. It has caused many early deaths in theirrace. There was no appropriate treatment of this disease. Once infected therewas no way for escape from this disease. Tsetse flies were quite common inthose days. There was one way for prevention i.e. to control the disease wasfly control. Once the population of flies has checked the disease subdued itself.