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Many of the same genes that influence our personality also affect our mental health

07 December 2016

We know from twin and family studies that our personality is to a large degree – probably around 40 per cent – inherited.

Geneticists are busy trying to find the specific gene variants involved, but because each one on its own only exerts a modest influence, this is challenging research requiring huge samples. 

Now a new study discussed on our Research Digest blog has made a significant contribution, using the technique of Genome Wide Analysis to look for genetic variants that correlate with personality.

The researchers have identified variations in six genetic loci that correlate with different personality trait scores, five of which were previously unknown. In a separate analysis, the researchers also showed that many of the genetic variants involved in personality overlap with those involved in the risk of developing mental health disorders.

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