Intelligence can protect against depression
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).