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Aurora magazine

A genetic test to predict cognitive abilities

Researchers from the Air Force Research Laboratory have developed a way to predict cognitive abilities. It is a genetic test that analyzes FTCD, to complement the classic memory tests. According to the studies, in fact, the secret of perfect memory lies in the C allele of the gene, especially for subjects between 18 and 27 years.

FTCD is an enzyme that stimulates the production of glutamate and folate, which is crucial for the development of neurotransmitters. As a result, it could help cognitive skills, albeit indirectly. To test their thesis, the researchers analyzed the DNA of 642 volunteers. Then they compared the data collected with the results of classical cognitive tests. From what has emerged, there really seems to be a correlation between the C allele of the gene and the person's cognitive faculties. Based on the discovery, the researchers hypothesized two possible treatments for the future.

Subjects with a "weak" C allele could take folic acid supplements and perform cognitive exercises. Otherwise, we could think of genetic mini-editing using CRISPR. For the moment, however, it is still early: first we will have to do further tests and understand the real functioning of the gene. The discovery, if confirmed, could have military and civil applications. Genetic tests could identify the best people to perform complex tasks that require a quick way of thinking. Or to help those with cognitive problems.