Thursday, September 03, 2009
Gene variants that correlate with both psychosis and creativity?
Even though a number of studies have discounted an association between creativity and madness, the persistence of the idea may have some basis in fact. Kéri has studied the relationship between a functional promoter polymorphism of the neuregulin 1 gene (SNP8NRG243177/rs6994992; C vs. T) and creativity in 200 healthy participants with high intellectual and academic performance who filled out a creative achievement questionnaire. (Neuregulin 1 - which affects neuronal development, synaptic plasticity, glutamatergic neurotransmission, and glial functioning - is one of the most actively investigated candidate genes for psychosis.) His results suggest that polymorphism of the promoter region TT, T/C, C/C is associated with creativity in people with high intellectual and academic performance. Intriguingly, the highest creative achievements and creative-thinking scores are found in people who carried the T/T genotype, which has been shown to be related to psychosis risk and altered prefrontal activation.