Genes that influence people's health also shape their intelligence and how effectively they think. A recent study reports that those with better overall health are likely to have higher levels of intelligence.
Researchers analyzed data from around 100,000 people which could help them discover why some people develop particular diseases and others do not.
‘Gene variants that make people intelligent also protect them against disease like Alzheimer's and diabetes.’
AdvertisementPeople who performed best in memory, verbal reasoning and reaction tests were less likely to have the genes that predispose people to high blood pressure, to diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes or to poor overall health.
When the mental test data was compared with the genome, it was found that some traits linked to disease and thinking skills shared the same genetic influences.
"In addition to there being shared genetic influences between cognitive skills and some physical and mental health states, the study also found that cognitive skills share genetic influences with brain size, body shape and educational attainments," said Ian Deary, University of Edinburgh, UK.