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Research: Are glasses wearers really smarter by nature?


Are glasses wearers really smarter?

The cliché that educated people can be recognized by their glasses already developed a century ago. Wearing glasses was attributed to reading books in poorly lit libraries. Researchers have now found that people who wear glasses are often actually smarter.

Glasses wear look particularly intelligent to many people. This assessment does not seem to be just a cliché. The University of Edinburgh scientists found in their current study that people who wear glasses are really smarter compared to people without a visual aid. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Nature Communications".

Smart people wear glasses more often

For their investigation, the experts analyzed the genetic data of more than 300,486 subjects. They found that smarter participants had genes that were almost 30 percent more likely to suggest that these people need reading glasses compared to less intelligent subjects. Higher cognitive skills were also linked to genes that were previously known to play a role in improving cardiovascular health, the researchers say.

Results lead to better understanding

The research team examined a total of 148 genomic regions related to better cognitive function for the study. These included 58 genomic regions that have not yet been examined. The results of the current study could help in the future to better understand the decrease in cognitive functions that often occurs with diseases and advancing age, the researchers explain.

Many genetic differences could be identified

Due to the study design, it was not possible to determine why there is a genetic correlation between intelligence, poor eyesight and cardiovascular health, the scientists report. The current study is the largest genetic study of cognitive function so far and has identified many genetic differences that contribute to the heritability (heritability) of thinking skills, adds study author Dr. Gail Davies from the Center for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh.

How did the study work?

The researchers further explain the discovery of common genetic effects on health and brain structure that provide a basis for research into the mechanisms by which these differences influence thinking skills during life. Study participants performed a variety of tests of their thinking skills, and the results were summarized as an assessment of general cognitive skills. All subjects also took part in genetic tests that closely examined their DNA. None of the participants suffered from dementia or had already had a stroke, say the experts. (as)

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