“Researchers find gene associated with thinking skills”

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An international team of researchers…has identified a gene that underlies healthy information processing—a first step on a complicated road to understand cognitive aging and age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.The study, published online and expected to come out this fall in a print edition of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, is one of the the largest genetics study to date to link a specific genetic mutation and information processing[1] speed.

“It is well known that genetic variation plays an important role in explaining individual differences in thinking skills such as memory and information processing speed,”…Previous studies in families and in twins have shown genetics play an important role in cognitive functioning, but finding the specific genes or genetic regions has proved difficult…

Of the different cognitive skills examined, the strongest genetic association was related to performance on a test of information processing speed…”We are finding that for complex traits, like cognitive function, not a single gene, but several genes or genetic regions come into play, with each making a relatively small contribution,”

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