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.