Intelligence across lifetime linked to genes, says study

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SCIENTISTS have estimated for the first time the extent to which genes determine changes in intelligence across the course of human life.

The Edinburgh University study found that genetic factors may account for about 24 per cent of changes in intelligence between childhood and old age.

The findings also suggest that many of the genes that affect intelligence in childhood also influence intelligence in old age. The study suggests that the largest influence on changes in intelligence is probably environmental.

The university’s Professor Ian Deary said: “Until now, we have not had an estimate of how much genetic differences affect how intelligence changes across a lifetime.

“These new findings were possible because our research teams were able to combine a range of valuable resources.

“The results partly explain why some people’s brains age better than others.”