A study conducted on approximately one million people found that more than 1,200 genes influence the academic performance. The study published in the journal Nature Genetics detailed that these variants in DNA are a “moderately inheritable” factor, although social variables are still more influential in improving school performance.
In particular, the research, which was carried out by 200 European centers, succeeded in associating more than 1,200 genes with the school performance, according to the study’s report.
While inherited genes influence the academic performance, the economic, social and health factors remain more critical factors. Now, among the genes associated with good school performance, the scientists found some variants related to brain development and neuronal communication.
According to the research, more than 11% of educational success is associated with this set of variations in the DNA, comparable to the other factors such as family education, economic status, or health. However, ambition, financial stability in the family, and other socio-economic factors continue to play a more significant role than genes.
More than 1,200 genes influence the school performance of the Europeans
Robbee Wedow, from the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in the USA, and co-author of the study acknowledged that “as with many other issues, what matters is the interaction between the environment and genetics.”
Specifically, the researchers analyzed the genetic information derived from 71 datasets over two years, including those from the Biobank in the United Kingdom and the personal genomics company 23andMe.
According to the analysis, the genes involved increase pre- and post-natal brain expression levels and played a role in the neurotransmitters secretion and synaptic plasticity.
But to discover additional genetic variants in the DNA associated with school performance, the researchers recognize that it will be necessary to include participants from more backgrounds, other than of European descendants. Also, the scientists cautioned that the research could not be used to predict individual school performance, as reported by The New York Times.