New study helps identify gene linking brain structure to intelligence

Washington, February 12: A new study has identified gene linking the thickness of the ‘grey matter’ in the brain to intelligence.

Dr Sylvane Desrivieres said that they wanted to find out how structural differences in the brain relate to differences in intellectual ability and added that the genetic variation identified, is linked to synaptic plasticity and may help explain biological mechanisms behind some forms of intellectual impairment.

Scientists at King’s College London looked at the cerebral cortex, which is known as ‘grey matter’ and plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language and consciousness, revealed that it is important to point out that intelligence is influenced by many genetic and environmental factors.

According to the study, the genetic variation affects the expression of the NPTN gene, which encodes a protein acting at neuronal synapses and therefore affects how brain cells communicate, and some differences in intellectual abilities can result from the decreased function of the NPTN gene in particular regions of the left brain hemisphere.

The study is published in Molecular Psychiatry. (ANI)