Sunday, March 18, 2007

Paternal age and intelligence: implications for age-related genomic changes in male germ cells.

Malaspina D, Reichenberg A, Weiser M, Fennig S, Davidson M, Harlap S, Wolitzky R, Rabinowitz J, Susser E, Knobler HY.
New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.

BACKGROUND: A robust association between advancing paternal age and schizophrenia risk is reported, and genetic changes in the germ cells of older men are presumed to underlie the effect. If that is so, then the pathway may include effects on cognition, as those with premorbid schizophrenia are reported to have lower intelligence. There are also substantial genetic influences on intelligence, so de novo genetic events in male germ cells, which accompany advancing paternal age, may plausibly influence offspring intelligence.............................

with later paternal age lowering non-verbal IQ scores more than verbal IQ scores. CONCLUSION: We found independent effects of maternal and paternal age on offspring IQ scores. The paternal age effect may be explained by de novo mutations or abnormal methylation of paternally imprinted genes, whereas maternal age may affect fetal neurodevelopment through age-related alterations in the in-utero environment. The influence of late paternal age to modify non-verbal IQ may be related to the pathways that increase the risk for schizophrenia in the offspring of older fathers.

PMID: 15900226 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

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