Is your brother smart? Then you might be crazy.

“Close relatives of successful students showed increased risks of psychosis.”

Background It has been suggested that psychosis genes mightbe associated with beneficial effects, explaining their highfrequency in all human populations.

Aims To test the relationship between academic success and the incidence of psychotic disorders.

Method The unusually complete demographic and scholastic records available in Iceland were used to locate academically accomplishedindividuals and assess the probability of previously identifiedpatients with mental disorders and their relatives being amongsuch groups.

Results Close relatives of successful students showed increased risks of psychosis. Individuals who subsequently developed psychosis and relatives of people with psychosis excelled in school performance, particularly in mathematics.

Conclusions The study supports the hypothesis that stimulation associated with psychotic tendencies enhances performance in academic settings.

Source: “Psychosis and academic performance” from The British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) 184: 327-329

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