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Nat Genet. 2017 Jul;49(7):1107-1112. doi: 10.1038/ng.3869. Epub 2017 May 22.

Genome-wide association meta-analysis of 78,308 individuals identifies new loci and genes influencing human intelligence.

Author information

1
Department of Complex Trait Genetics, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
3
MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
4
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, London, UK.
5
Alzheimer Centrum, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
6
Erasmus University Rotterdam Institute for Behavior and Biology, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
7
Genetic Epidemiology Unit, Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
8
Center for Experimental Social Science, Department of Economics, New York University, New York, New York, USA.
9
Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, New York, USA.
10
Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
11
Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
12
Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden.
13
Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
14
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
15
Centre for Epidemiology, Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
16
Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.
17
Department of Applied Economics, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
18
Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
19
Translational Epidemiology, Faculty Science, Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands.
20
Department of Clinical Genetics, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

Intelligence is associated with important economic and health-related life outcomes. Despite intelligence having substantial heritability (0.54) and a confirmed polygenic nature, initial genetic studies were mostly underpowered. Here we report a meta-analysis for intelligence of 78,308 individuals. We identify 336 associated SNPs (METAL P < 5 × 10-8) in 18 genomic loci, of which 15 are new. Around half of the SNPs are located inside a gene, implicating 22 genes, of which 11 are new findings. Gene-based analyses identified an additional 30 genes (MAGMA P < 2.73 × 10-6), of which all but one had not been implicated previously. We show that the identified genes are predominantly expressed in brain tissue, and pathway analysis indicates the involvement of genes regulating cell development (MAGMA competitive P = 3.5 × 10-6). Despite the well-known difference in twin-based heritability for intelligence in childhood (0.45) and adulthood (0.80), we show substantial genetic correlation (rg = 0.89, LD score regression P = 5.4 × 10-29). These findings provide new insight into the genetic architecture of intelligence.

PMID:
28530673
PMCID:
PMC5665562
DOI:
10.1038/ng.3869
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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