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View Full Version : Psychiatric disorders and creativity may have same DNA signature



rock hunter
06-10-2015, 02:20 PM
In a recent study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers explain the possible connection between some genetic elements responsible for creativity and some psychiatric disorders.

This could be a potential explanation for the fact that many artists across history may have had mental conditions such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Researchers found that the same common genetic mutations that make people be more creative than others may also play a role in psychiatric illnesses.

More than 86,000 people from Iceland participated in the study, where researchers had the opportunity of analyzing and comparing their genetic material. The purpose of this analysis was to identify the genetic mutations associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Those variants were then searched for in a 1,000 group of people who were participating in national societies of artists; these were members of societies for musicians, writers, actors, visual artists, and dancers.

All participants in this study presented a DNA signature associated to a doubled risk of schizophrenia and a one-third enhanced risk of bipolar disorder.

When comparing the artist’s data with the ones who did not have such creative inclinations, researchers observed that the first group had 17 percent more chances of having that genetic signature.

Lead study author Kari Stefansson, CEO of deCODE, a genomic analysis company, said the results did not surprise her. It is widely known that in order for a person to be creative, they have to think differently, or as we say, “outside the box.” That’s exactly what happens in the genetic material of artists.

Similar studies conducted in Sweden and the Netherlands also support the idea that people with artistic preoccupations have DNA signatures very different from the ones found in the general public, a fact that predisposes them to develop mental illnesses.

Stefansson explained that the genetic mutations which are responsible for increased risk of developing mental illnesses might be the very ones allowing people to be exceptionally creative. In other words, the dangerous genetic variations are the very ones providing the benefits.

However, some experts urge caution when it comes to assuming a direct genetic link between creativity and mental disorders. Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman from the University of Pennsylvania explained that genes can only explain portions of psychological traits.

There are more factors that contribute and influence a person’s creativity and proneness to schizophrenia, such as environmental conditions and individual and personal experiences. This study does not present a cause and effect scenario, but a statistical association.

http://www.utahpeoplespost.com/2015/06/psychiatric-disorders-creativity-dna-signature/

Arbogan
06-10-2015, 09:53 PM
Funny, I was under the impression that schizophrenia lowered cognitive function.

surbakhunWeesste
06-10-2015, 10:20 PM
Funny, I was under the impression that schizophrenia lowered cognitive function.

Jon Nash had schizophrenia. As a matter of fact "normal" people aren't able to achieve what the "abnormal" can on the "cognitive" level ;)

Arbogan
06-10-2015, 10:25 PM
Jon Nash had schizophrenia. As a matter of fact "normal" people aren't able to achieve what the "abnormal" can on the "cognitive" level ;)
I've read several studies that pointed to cognitive impairment in intellectual functioning in schizophrenics.

Jenny
06-11-2015, 12:10 PM
Maybe if they're medicated?

MikeWhalen
06-11-2015, 02:05 PM
I don't think you can make a simple general rule or observation regarding serious mental health and intellect as it is far too varied from individual to individual.

In addition, key issues such as:
-has it actually been accurately diagnosed
-has a successful regimen of treatment been found
-is the subject willing to continue the successful regimen (including the key issue of taking the med's they need to take)
-is there an issue of dual diagnosis (meaning more than one serious issue, such as addiction + schizophrenia)
-does the individual have the resources and/or access to resources (including pro social support groups such as family and friends) to deal with their mental illness

I have professionally dealt with mentally ill from all walks of life, socioeconomic classes, dozens of ethnicity and so forth for over 25 yrs now and have a Masters degree in a related field
-the only 2 general observations I feel comfortable in making is:

1-how critical it is to have a competent and thorough diagnosis-oldest rule in the book, ya cant fix the problem is don't know what it is, or refuse to acknowledge its existence
2-how critical it is for the subject to willingly continue with the successful treatment regimen (when it is finally found, which is not always and easy journey)

-I guarantee you, an untreated schizophrenic (or any other major mental health issue) will:

-sabotage (by nature of the illness) any talent or skill they have, be it sub average, average or above average
-burn out any support structure, both personal and professional until they are utterly alone
-face a tremendous amount of confusion, frustration and isolation as to why the world does not conform to their 'understanding'
-spiral downwards in both their mind and their personal circumstances

the story can end well, but it only comes from alot of hard work and 'stick to it-ivness'

Mike

tamilgangster
06-12-2015, 08:01 AM
Alot of people with mental disorders(especially aspergers/autism), there brain works and processes things differently. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. As a result their thinking is unique and can result in unique ideas. THere is this other finding that the gene that causes autism is on the same chromosome as a gene thats found among child prodigies

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/genius-autism-share-genetic-link-study-finds/

DMXX
06-12-2015, 08:29 AM
Yes, this inference has been present in the literature for at least several years now and is commonly cited as evidence against premature uptake of large-scale "designer baby" technology. A hypothetical screening out of risk variants across the world associated with certain conditions could very well have deleterious effects from an evolutionary perspective. In this instance, hindering individual creativity.

warwick
06-13-2015, 02:12 AM
Yes, this inference has been present in the literature for at least several years now and is commonly cited as evidence against premature uptake of large-scale "designer baby" technology. A hypothetical screening out of risk variants across the world associated with certain conditions could very well have deleterious effects from an evolutionary perspective. In this instance, hindering individual creativity.

Albert Einstein's second son, Eduard Einstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduard_Einstein, had schizophrenia and was institutionalized for the remainder of his life. I think it is likely that schizophrenia-related genes implicated in creativity may have contributed to Albert Einstein's genius.

Speculation of course.