In­tel­li­gence can pro­tect against de­pres­sion

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - HEALTH NEWS -

IN­TEL­LI­GENT men are less likely to de­velop de­pres­sion, new re­search sug­gests.

Hav­ing a high In­tel­li­gent Quo­tient (IQ) re­duces men­tal dis­tress even in those with high lev­els of in­flam­ma­tion, a study found.

Pre­vi­ous re­search links in­flam­ma­tion with a higher risk of the men­tal-health dis­or­der.

Study au­thor Pro­fes­sor Eirini Flouri, from Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don, said: “There ap­pears to be some pro­tec­tive ef­fect of hav­ing a high IQ.”

This may be due to in­tel­li­gent peo­ple be­ing more likely to lead healthy life­styles, such as eat­ing well and ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly, ac­cord­ing to the re­searchers.

The study also found in­tel­li­gence does not pro­tect women from de­pres­sion, which may be due to hor­monal or im­mune-sys­tem dif­fer­ences be­tween the sexes, they add.

Ex­perts be­lieve men can boost their in­tel­li­gence, and there­fore re­duce their risk of the men­tal-health con­di­tion, by do­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that im­prove their mem­o­ries.

Dr. Go­lam Khan­daker, from the Univer­sity of Cam­bridge, who was not in­volved in the study, told the New Sci­en­tist: “The brain is not a mus­cle, it's a lump of fat – but you can train it like a mus­cle.

“If we take mea­sures to keep in­flam­ma­tion down, it should have a pos­i­tive im­pact on a num­ber of fac­tors.”

The re­searchers an­a­lysed more than 9,600 peo­ple aged be­tween 18 and 97 years old who live in the United King­dom (UK).

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