People with good brain have overall good health

People with good brain have overall good health (Image source: howardcountymd.gov)
People with good brain have overall good health (Image source: howardcountymd.gov)

Main Point:

Intelligent people have a genetic ability to fight with most of the health-related problems.

Published in:

Molecular Psychiatry

Study Further:

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have found that genes that are linked to thinking skills and intelligence are also linked to health. This shows that the intelligent people have less chances of becoming sick, getting disease, or die early.

In a new study, researchers worked on the participants of UK Biobank (having a huge number of genotyped and cognitively tested samples), and obtained the data of 112,151 people in the age range of 40 years to 73 years. They found that the people, who perform best in verbal reasoning, memory tasks, and reaction time tests, have less chances of getting genes that can result in the development of high blood pressure, diabetes, certain other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and/or overall poor health. Moreover, those people can also be taller as compared to other people and they may have larger brains. However, some problems can also develop with intelligence such as autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

In the study, researchers worked on genes that are related to mental abilities as well as educational achievements, and the relation of those genes to some disorders. They found some interesting things as, for example, they found that genes that are related to increased height are also associated to getting a college and/or university degree. They also found that people having more genes associated with cardiovascular disorders have reduced level of reasoning ability.

Previously, scientists thought that socio-economic factors are primarily responsible for poor health and low education, but this study shows that genetics also play an important role. Therefore, it can be assumed that intelligent people coming from a poor family have better chances of living a healthier life as compared to less intelligent people.

“Taken all together, these results provide a resource that advances the study of aetiology in cognitive epidemiology substantially,” researchers wrote in the conclusion.

Source:

Hagenaars, S., Harris, S., Davies, G., Hill, W., Liewald, D., Ritchie, S., Marioni, R., Fawns-Ritchie, C., Cullen, B., Malik, R., Worrall, B., Sudlow, C., Wardlaw, J., Gallacher, J., Pell, J., McIntosh, A., Smith, D., Gale, C., & Deary, I. (2016). Shared genetic aetiology between cognitive functions and physical and mental health in UK Biobank (N=112 151) and 24 GWAS consortia Molecular Psychiatry DOI: 10.1038/mp.2015.225

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.

  • Steven

    I don’t really have much to say on the research that this article is based off of but I do have something to say about some the correlations that this article is making. With such a large pool of samples to pick from I feel like this author of this article is just making correlations and then stating that these are related to the mental health of the individuals rather than looking at other possible factors. One of the more annoying correlations on here was that an individual’s height was related to them getting a college degree. I would image that the age of these individuals had far more to do with the degrees than height. As time passes humans as, a species, are getting taller. Over the last 100 years the average height of a human being has increased approximately 4 inches. Along with this increase in height has come the increasing need for college degrees in the work place. So as time progresses the need for secondary education increases and so does height. Rather than height playing a role in whether or not an individual gets a degree (or intelligence playing a role in height) I believe it is much more reasonable to say that humans are getting taller as a species and society is requiring us to gain more education to get the jobs we require to live a better life.

  • Wyatt Eagen

    I found this article interesting in the fact of the title and its contents. That a healthy brain results in good health as well. Taking care of your brain is so important its just like taking care of your health such as, to eat healthy foods or to workout daily. Except taking care of the brain is much more complex being that the brain is a very complex machine. In chapter three of our text we the book discussed drugs and their effects on the brain. For example dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that results in alertness and pleasure. However, certain drugs such as, cocaine release dopamine on a dangerous level which in high doses can be harmful to your brain and cause depression after the high starts to wear down. This is an example of bad health for your brain and physical health. Another dangerous drug that results in bad brain health and even death is heroine. Heroine is converted back into morphine once it enters the body which they then latch onto opioid receptors. These receptors are responsible for blood pressure and respiration. In certain cases taking heroine can effect how much oxygen reaches your brain which can lead to death of a person. Ultimately we must take care of our brains and make sure to keep our brains in good health.

  • christan piatt

    This article, I do not believe has very reliable research to stand on. It states that, “In the study, researchers worked on genes that are related to mental abilities as well as educational achievements, and the relation of those genes to some disorders.” What about all the other genes that may affect intelligence? I think that more than those particular genes that they studied have to do with how people learn. I am sure that other scientists can come up with numerous studies that contradict this one. The whole Intelligent people do not get sick as often as less intelligent people I think is totally off base. Being smart should not have anything to do with illness I wouldn’t think, but I am not the scientist here. I would need a lot more scientific proof before I could think that the two could be related.