Schizophrenia genetic variants are not associated with intelligence Journal Article uri icon



  • BackgroundSchizophrenia is associated with lower pre-morbid intelligence (IQ) in addition to (pre-morbid) cognitive decline. Both schizophrenia and IQ are highly heritable traits. Therefore, we hypothesized that genetic variants associated with schizophrenia, including copy number variants (CNVs) and a polygenic schizophrenia (risk) score (PSS), may influence intelligence.MethodIQ was estimated with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). CNVs were determined from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data using the QuantiSNP and PennCNV algorithms. For the PSS, odds ratios for genome-wide SNP data were calculated in a sample collected by the Psychiatric Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) Consortium (8690 schizophrenia patients and 11 831 controls). These were used to calculate individual PSSs in our independent sample of 350 schizophrenia patients and 322 healthy controls.ResultsAlthough significantly more genes were disrupted by deletions in schizophrenia patients compared to controls (p = 0.009), there was no effect of CNV measures on IQ. The PSS was associated with disease status (R2 = 0.055, p = 2.1 × 10−7) and with IQ in the entire sample (R2 = 0.018, p = 0.0008) but the effect on IQ disappeared after correction for disease status.ConclusionsOur data suggest that rare and common schizophrenia-associated variants do not explain the variation in IQ in healthy subjects or in schizophrenia patients. Thus, reductions in IQ in schizophrenia patients may be secondary to other processes related to schizophrenia risk.

publication date

  • December 1, 2013

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • August 11, 2014 11:26 AM

Full Author List

  • van Scheltinga AFT; Bakker SC; van Haren NEM; Derks EM; Buizer-Voskamp JE; Cahn W; Ripke S; Ophoff RA; Kahn RS

author count

  • 9

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0033-2917

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-8978

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2563

end page

  • 2570


  • 43


  • 12