Intelligence Genes and Autism

The article is a little vague, but I suppose if you’re talking about hundreds of genes, it’s hard not to be (especially in such a short article). Using new statistical methods, scientists have found 939 new genes associated with intelligence. The article notes:

Many variants of genes associated with higher intelligence turned up in people who also lived longer and did not have Alzheimer’s disease, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or schizophrenia, the team reports today in Nature Genetics, suggesting that intelligence protects against these disorders. On the downside, genes associated with intelligence correlated with a higher risk for autism.

I have talked about genes and other features associated with high intelligence and autism on this blog before. While they say the connection between genes associated with intelligence and autism is “unfortunate,” I think scientists need to start wondering if this connection is more of a feature than a bug. In some forms of autism at least it may be a problem of too much of a good thing.

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