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High IQ in childhood increases risk of developing bipolar disorder, says study

Published Aug 19, 2015, 11:11 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 3:50 am IST
Representational image (Photo: AFP)
 Representational image (Photo: AFP)

Being intelligent and creative from childhood can make you more likely to develop mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, according to a recent study. Researchers had studied a group of almost 2,000 people when they were aged eight and then at 22 or 23 in Glasgow.

Each of the participants gave them statements for which researchers provided a score out of 100 related to how many manic features they had experienced in the past. The results showed that those came in the top 10 per cent of manic traits possessed a childhood IQ nearly ten points higher than those in the bottom 10 per cent, as reported by journalist Helen Thompson in The Guardian.

“Our study offers a possible explanation for how bipolar disorder may have been selected through generations,” said lead researcher Daniel Smith, who is also professor of psychiatry at the University of Glasgow, as reported in The Guardian.

“One possibility is that serious disorders of mood, such as bipolar disorder, are the price that human beings have had to pay for more adaptive traits (like) intelligence, creativity and verbal proficiency. The sooner we can intervene in bipolar the better the outcome, ” Professor Smith added.

People with bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, suffer from extreme mood swings – facing switching periods of mania when they feel overactive, and depression.

The results of this study are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry





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