A Twist on Intelligence and Longevity

Does intelligence correlate with longevity? And if so, is that because more intelligent people tend to make better health choices, or because some genes that correlate with intelligence also aid biochemistry in resisting the accumulation of damage and dysfunction? From the Telegraph: "Intelligent people could live up to 15 years longer than their less bright counterparts, according to scientists who have linked a 'smart gene' to longevity. Researchers in Italy found those with the less 'smart' variant of the gene, which has already been linked to IQ levels by scientists, were unlikely to live beyond 85. ... others with a 'good' version of the same gene could expect to live to 100. The gene known as SSADH is already known to 'detoxify' the brain by getting rid of excess acid. That process is believed to protect brain cells from damage which would otherwise accelerate the ageing process. ... Although the sample size is small, with only 115 taking the test compared with the thousands expected in today's studies, the reported associations with cognitive ability are significant and in line with our previous results." More questions than answers here.

Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/2111096/Clever-people-could-live-15-years-longer.html


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