WEEKLY UPDATE: August 9, 2019
SUMMARY: Newly identified genetic variants in genes that regulate cell development and cell death are associated with higher intelligence.
DESCRIPTION: Intelligence is associated with positive socio-economic and health-related outcomes. The more intelligent a person is, the more likely they are to lead long, healthy lives and less likely to experience negative life events like bankruptcy. To better understand the genetic influence of intelligence, this study analyzed data from multiple previous genome-wide association studies. In total 78,308 individuals of European descent were examined for effects of genetics on intelligence. Most of the newly discovered variants were in genes that are predominantly active in the brain and are involved in regulating cell development. These variants help explain ~5% of the heritability of intelligence. The most significant variant was in the FOXO3 gene, which plays a role in neuronal cell death in response to stress and has previously been associated with longevity.
DID YOU KNOW? You can boost your cognitive abilities through various activities including visiting new places, reading, solving problems, learning to play an instrument, and exercising. [SOURCE]