The Innsbruck Medical University neurosciences identify a group of genes that regulate cognitive abilities and associated human information. The researchers contribute to a better understanding of the advanced brain functions.
The power of the brain varies from person to person. One reason for the individual differences lies in the genes. So far, the few contexts have been very little known. "We know there is no intelligence gene called this, but many genes make small contributions," explains Georg Dechant, director of the Neuroscience Joint Institute, where the current landwork was developed .
Gen mutation causes a mental impairment
Innsbruck researchers have now identified a group of proteins in the nucleus, which are likely to be responsible for regulating cognitive abilities. A specific role is played by a particular protein (note SATB2). This binds the DNA genetic material and determines its three-dimensional development in the cell nucleus. People with a mutation of this gene have mental disabilities as well as learning disabilities.
Biological methods and society studies
"Using modern biochemical methods, we have now identified a group of proteins that work with SATB2 in cerebron neurons. Then, if these proteins are essential to your knowledge, then he was investigated through society studies in different groups of human beings, "Galina Apostolova of the research team explained. "It has been shown clearly that fluctuations of the corresponding gene are related to differences in human knowledge."
New understanding of advanced brain functions
Basic research contributes to a better understanding of the advanced brain functions. However, the results also show that human genetic intelligence can only be influenced only to a limited extent. "With so many genes in question, it seems impossible to handle information in molecular level," says Dechant.
Basic research basis for new psychiatric therapies
"In any case, our findings are important for the development of new therapies for psychiatric or neurological disorders where cognitive performance impairments are often observed. We expect results based on intelligence to be of importance For the well-known molecular psychiatry, the better we understand brain functions, the more we can look for new psychiatric therapies, "says Dechant.
International top research in Innsbruck
Innsbruck scientists have already contributed in the past to gain a better understanding of the central role of the proteins in neuronal processes. The neurosciences are the research focus of the Med-University Innsbruck, which (also) is one of the leading international locations in this area. SATB2 research is focused on the special research field "Cell signals in chronic CNS disorders" and the "Signal processing in neurons" (SPIN) excellence program. The current insights of Innsbruck were published in the famous scientific magazine "Plos Genetics".