My donor graft was a very close match of alleles. This means he and I follow a very similar line of hereditary variation. You could consider us Doppelgangers or twins at some biological level.
But there are differences because we're not clones. (Arguably, even clones vary.)
Last night, Ed and I believe we confirmed my first "derivative distinction" from the transplant. It's nothing worrysome. It's nothing that will be difficult to live with. In fact, it's a particularly funny one, considering.
We believe that my donor does not produce Aldehyde Dehydrogenase (ALDH2). Here's a section from Wikipedia on the topic.
ALDH2 plays a crucial role in maintaining low blood levels of acetaldehyde during alcohol oxidation. In this pathway, the intermediate structures can be toxic, and health problems arise when those intermediates cannot be cleared (Crabb 2004). When high levels of acetaldehyde occur in the blood, symptoms of facial flushing, light headedness, palpitations, nausea, and general “hangover” symptoms occur . These symptoms are indicative of a disease known as “Asian Flush” or “Oriental Flushing Syndrome” (Thomasson 1991).
That's right folks, I can't drink alcohol any more. I've tried enough times since the transplant to be VERY certain this is a fact. A simple glass with dinner turns me into a beet with a mild itch.
So, what's the coincidence of the day? Ed has the same problem. He always has.
And that's OK.