两篇Nature Genetics:近千个“智力基因”被发现,或与自闭、抑郁有关
2018/06/27
聪明是一把“双刃剑”——聪明的人似乎活得更长,但是很多“智力基因”同样会导致自闭症、焦虑和抑郁。6月25日,《Nature Genetics》同时发表两篇文章,揭示了近千个与智力有关联的新基因。


图片来源:Pixabay

科学家们很早就知道,人类会从父母那里遗传智力和一些人格障碍,与此同时环境因素(例如教育、压力等)也会在智力、心理健康塑造上产生重要影响。但是,遗传学家很难确定与智力相关的基因。

2017年,阿姆斯特丹自由大学的遗传学家Danielle Posthuma带领团队研发了新的统计方法,可以在庞大的数据库中检测到某些基因与特定特征之间的紧密联系。他们在8万人的数据中筛选到与智力相关的52个基因。(详细

现在,Danielle Posthuma团队在“智力基因”列表中新添加了近1000个成员。他们检索了14个数据库,在250000个人的健康记录中找到了939个与智力相关的新基因。


https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0152-6

很多与高智商有关的基因变异会让人更长寿,且不会发生阿尔兹海默症、注意力缺陷症或者精神分裂症。这意味着,这些突变能够预防这些疾病。遗憾的是,它们会增加自闭症的发生风险。

在另一篇同时发表在《Nature Genetics》期刊上的文章中,Danielle Posthuma团队分析了449,400个人的健康和基因数据,从中共找到500个与神经质(neurotic traits)有关的基因,例如焦虑、抑郁。


https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0151-7


在这两项研究中,科学家们使用了一种新的统计方法——MAGMA,能够快速搜索基因数据并识别有基因表达的特定细胞和组织。研究发现,中型棘突神经元(medium spiny neurons,基底神经元的一部分)表达有许多智力基因。此外,他们还找到了不少可开发成药物的潜在靶标。

这两项研究提供了首份证据:许多基因和通路以复杂的方式共同努力,构建智慧的大脑并保持平衡。Posthuma认为,智力基因的挖掘有望为预防阿尔兹海默症等疾病提供新的线索。

责编:风铃

参考资料:

Hundreds of new genes may underlie intelligence—but also autism and depression

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