Dyne-Steele and Mensa Cohort
The Dyne-Steele cohort for cognitive genetic studies is a collection of 2000 DNA samples from elderly (50+) volunteers who have been followed at 5-yearly intervals for changes in cognitive functioning over a 20-year period. Cognitive tests have measured the domains of memory (short and long term), processing speed, fluid intelligence (novel problem solving) and vocabulary ability. Depression scores (Yesavage and Beck), health status, socioeconomic status, MRI data, personality scores, pain data and dementia status are also available.
This study is ongoing and the cohort will be followed to their end of life. The DNA cohort has thus far produced 12 publications including articles in Molecular Psychiatry and the American Journal of Human Genetics.
With help from the high IQ society, Mensa, we have collected DNA from almost 1000 of its members. Mensa membership requires an IQ of 132 or over and these individuals represent the top 2% of the population. The reason for recruiting Mensa members is that we would expect genetic variations associated with intelligence to be more common in these individuals and this should make them easier to detect.
Information on health, personality and intelligence scores has already been collected for the Mensa volunteers. Plans to include these samples in a genome-wide study that will investigate over 610,000 genetic variations will begin in the near future.