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High intelligence might halt the development of schizophrenia in those predisposed to the disorder genetically, contrary to previous research noting that braininess could increase risk of the disorder. According to the U.S. and Swedish researchers, certain IQs are important in the link to the mental disorder.
“If you’re really smart, your genes for schizophrenia don’t have much of a chance of acting,” Kenneth S. Kendler, one author, said.
Researchers used a number of records from the Military Conscription Register and studied Swedish men born between the ages of 1951 and 1975. The Register included the assessed IQs of each men at the age of 18 to 20 and tracked the history of schizophrenia-related hospitalization until 2010. Low IQ was found to contribute to the illness along with other factors like fetal experience, childhood trauma and early drug use. However, there was a huge variation of intelligence scores of people with schizophrenia.
“What really predicted risk for schizophrenia is how much you deviate from the predicted IQ that [you] get from your relatives,” Kendler said. “If you’re quite a bit lower, that carries a high risk for schizophrenia. Not achieving the IQ that you should have based on your genetic constitution and family background seems to most strongly predispose for schizophrenia.”
A 1 point decrease in IQ increased the risk of schizophrenia by 3.8 percent. The strongest effect was noted between families.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder often associated with poor social interaction and a loss of motivation, along with hallucinations and delusions. Though treatment can sometimes help those with the illness, others could be affected for years while demonstrating unusual behavior.
The study was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Source: RT / Photo Credit: Flickr
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