Largest brain study to date finds genes that shape brain size, intelligence
In the world's largest brain study, a team of more than 200 scientists from 100 institutions around the world collaborated to map the human genes that impact the brain's resistance to a variety of mental illnesses and Alzheimer's disease, as well as genes that may explain differences in brain size and intelligence. Three years ago, UCLA researchers partnered with geneticists at the Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Australia and Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands. The investigators recruited brain-imaging labs around the world to pool their scans and genomic data, and Project ENIGMA was born. "Our individual centers couldn't review enough brain scans to obtain definitive results," said Paul Thompson, professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "By sharing our data with Project ENIGMA, we created a sample large enough to reveal clear patterns in genetic variation and show how these changes physically alter the brain."