Differential Diagnosis of Complex Conditions in Paleopathology: A Mutational Spectrum Approach
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The expression of mutations causing complex conditions varies considerably on a scale of mild to severe referred to as a mutational spectrum. Capturing a complete picture of this scale in the archaeological record through the study of human remains is limited due to a number of factors complicating the diagnosis of complex conditions. An array of potential etiologies for particular conditions, and crossover of various symptoms add an extra layer of complexity preventing paleopathologists from confidently attempting a differential diagnosis. This study attempts to address these challenges in a number of ways: 1) by providing an overview of congenital and developmental anomalies important in the identification of mild expressions related to mutations causing complex conditions; 2) by outlining diagnostic features of select anomalies used as screening tools for complex conditions in the medical field ; 3) by assessing how mild/carrier expressions of mutations and conditions with minimal skeletal impact are accounted for and used within paleopathology; and 4) by considering the potential of these mild expressions in illuminating additional diagnostic and environmental information regarding past populations.
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Elizabeth Lukashal (2021). Differential Diagnosis of Complex Conditions in Paleopathology: A Mutational Spectrum Approach. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16615