Brain processing speed is the rate at which a human brain can take in a bit of new information, reach some judgment on it and then formulate a response. This processing speed slows down with age. Researchers at University of Edinburgh have found that genes might be linked to a person's quick thinking skills in his or her middle and later life.
The study brought together data from 12 different countries which included some 30,000 people, aged more than 45 years. Study participants took cognitive function tests that included tests of simple, repeated coding under pressure of time. Researchers then processed the results alongside details of each individual's genome to identify genetic variants or changes associated with speed of thinking skills.
Researchers found that people with slower brain processing speed overall have variants near a gene called CADM2. This gene is linked to the communication process between brain cells, evidence of the gene's activity is abundant in the frontal and cingulate cortex in the brain, areas of the brain involved in thinking speed. Lead researcher Carla Ibrahim-Verbaas said, "The study confirms the likely role of CADM2 in between-cell communication, and therefore cognitive performance."
The study is published in Molecular Psychiatry.