Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

General cognitive function is a prominent and relatively stable human trait that is associated with many important life outcomes. We combine cognitive and genetic data from the CHARGE and COGENT consortia, and UK Biobank (total N = 300,486; age 16-102) and find 148 genome-wide significant independent loci (P < 5 × 10-8) associated with general cognitive function. Within the novel genetic loci are variants associated with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, physical and psychiatric illnesses, and brain structure. Gene-based analyses find 709 genes associated with general cognitive function. Expression levels across the cortex are associated with general cognitive function. Using polygenic scores, up to 4.3% of variance in general cognitive function is predicted in independent samples. We detect significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity. In conclusion we identify novel genetic loci and pathways contributing to the heritability of general cognitive function.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/s41467-018-04362-x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nat Commun

Publication Date

29/05/2018

Volume

9

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cognition, Genetic Loci, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Multifactorial Inheritance, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Reaction Time, Young Adult