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What genome-wide association studies reveal about the association between intelligence and mental health

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
Early online date24 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


Intelligence, as measured by standardised tests of cognitive function, such as IQ-type tests, is predictive of psychiatric diagnosis and psychological wellbeing. Using genome-wide association study (GWAS) data, a measure of the shared genetic effect across traits, can be quantified; because this can be done across samples, the confounding effects of psychiatric diagnosis do not influence the magnitude of these relationships. It is now known that there are genetic effects that act across intelligence and psychiatric diagnoses, which provide a partial explanation for the phenotypic link between intelligence and mental health. Potential causal effects between intelligence and mental health have been identified, and the regions of the genome responsible for some of these cross trait associations have begun to be characterised.

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