A group of scientists led by Imperial College London researcher Michael Johnson has identified two ‘gene networks’ associated with human cognitive abilities.
“We know that genetics plays a major role in intelligence but until now haven’t known which genes are relevant. This research highlights some of genes involved in human intelligence, and how they interact with each other,” said Dr Johnson, a Consultant Neurologist at Imperial College Healthcare and Deputy Head of the Center for Clinical Translation in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London. “What’s exciting about this is that the genes we have found are likely to share a common regulation, which means that potentially we can manipulate a whole set of genes whose activity is linked to human intelligence.” The findings were published online December 21 in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
“These results illustrate how systems-level analyses can reveal previously unappreciated relationships between neurodevelopmental disease-associated genes in the developed human brain, and provide empirical support for a convergent gene-regulatory network influencing cognition and neurodevelopmental disease,” Dr Johnson and co-authors said.