4th July 2013: The Incredible Shrinking Brain by Mike McInnes

Mike McInnes talks on Liver Brain Biology

Name of speaker:

Mike McInnes

Title of talk:

The Incredible Shrinking Brain

Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • The human brain  is shrinking for the first time in our evolutionary history.
  • There are two reasons for this – one positive and one wholly negative.
  • The human brain is becoming smaller and more efficient.
  • The reason for this is that in a bipedal species with a narrow pelvis a larger brain cannot exit the pelvic canal at birth.
  • Thus there is a potent evolutionary advantage to having a smaller and more efficient brain.
  • Einstein’s brain which was smaller than average and was also more efficient at processing energy than average.


Modern consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars overloads the systemic circulation with energy, trips the cerebral trip switch, and short circuits the brain. This causes chronic cerebral hunger, upgrades the stress and orexigenic (appetite) hormones and leads to more consumption of the same foods with the same result. The outome is a suite of metabolic diseases – obesity/diabetes/cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
All of these conditions result from compromised cerebral energy metabolism, and all are associated with impaired cognition and memory.The modern accelerated shrinking brain has completely overriden the evolutionary tendency and advantage of a smaller, more efficient and smarter brain from 15,000 years ago. Humans are becoming an increasingly demented species – 100 years from now one billion humans will be demented at the present rate of increase.

Websites and / or texts where further information may be found:

Kegg Biochemical Pathways

A few words about you and your passion:

Mike McInnes is a Scottish pharmacist who has been studying the biology of the brain liver axis for some years. There are emerging areas of biological study which are casting new light on why the body acts certain ways under certain conditions. Having worked in Pharmacy for several decades and then moved into the area of sports physiology.

A few lines about the history of your subject:

The study of physiology has gone on for millenia, many of the discoveries culminating in the birth of the age of digital technology. With more information collected together and made available to so many people, the possibilities to arrive at a joined up conception of the human body are causing various emerging understandings.