Genetic / Biological Foundations of Mental Processing Speed Discovered? (BBC News / Molecular Psychiatry)


A large international epidemiological study of data from 30,000 people may have identified underlying genetic variants linked to individual differences in the ability to process information. Genetic differences might explain why some people are quicker thinkers in middle age and later life, and may (in future) help shed light on the neurodegenerative processes behind mental decline.

Subjects, aged 45 years and older, without dementia, took cognitive tests to determine how quickly they processed information. People with slower processing speed were found to have variants near the cell adhesion molecule two (CADM2) gene. The CADM2 gene is thought to be involved in communication / information processing between brain cells. This gene’s influence was most pronounced in the areas of the brain involved in thinking speed. The same gene has been linked (elsewhere) to autism and personality traits.

Two other genetic variants, associated with memory performance and general cognitive functioning, were discovered in older adults (based on the same group of participants) recently.

Full Text Link


Gene study may explain why some remain quick thinkers. London: BBC Health News, April 16th 2015.

This relates to:

Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).


Ibrahim-Verbaas, CA. Bressler, J. [and] Debette, S. [et al] (2015). GWAS for executive function and processing speed suggests involvement of the CADM2 gene. Molecular Psychiatry. April 14th 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. (Click here to view the PubMed abstract).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in BBC News, For Doctors (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, International, Quick Insights, Scotland, UK, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.