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Low IQ linked to risk for schizophrenia

 Reduced IQ may be linked to the risk for developing schizophrenia, a new study suggests.  In the remarkable new study, Dr. Andrew McIntosh and his colleagues at the University of Edinburgh provide new evidence that the genetic risk for schizophrenia is associated with lower IQ among people who do not develop this disorder. The authors analyzed data from 937 individuals in Scotland who first completed IQ testing in 1947, at age 11.  Around age 70, they were retested and their DNA was analyzed to estimate their genetic risk for schizophrenia. 

The researchers found that individuals with a higher genetic risk for schizophrenia had a lower IQ at age 70 but not at age 11. 

Having more schizophrenia risk-related gene variants was also associated with a greater decline in lifelong cognitive ability. 
New IVF procedure may triple chances of births 
A new IVF procedure could benefit thousands of infertile couples, dramatically improving the success rate of having a baby through artificial reproduction. Scientists believe they can double or even triple the proportion of healthy babies born, as a result fertility treatment with a relatively simple technique that takes a series of time-lapse photographs of the developing IVF embryos, the Independent reported. 

On average only about 24 percent of IVF embryos implanted into women in the UK lead to live births, but the researchers believe this could be increased to 78 percent using the new technique for selecting the best embryos. “I believe it is the most exciting breakthrough we’ve had in probably 30 years,” Professor Simon Fishel, managing director of the CARE Fertility Group, where the technique was developed said. 

Depression doubles risk of stroke in middle-aged women 

Middle-aged women suffering from depression are more than twice as likely to have a stroke, a new study has warned. 

In a 12-year Australian study of 10,547 women 47-52 years old, researchers found that depressed women had a 2.4 times increased risk of stroke compared to those who weren't depressed. Even after researchers eliminated several factors that increase stroke risks, depressed women were still 1.9 times more likely to have a stroke. 

"When treating women, doctors need to recognize the serious nature of poor mental health and what effects it can have in the long term," said Caroline Jackson, Ph.D., study author and an epidemiologist in the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland in Australia. "Current guidelines for stroke prevention tend to overlook the potential role of depression." 

This is the first large-scale study in which researchers examined the association between depression and stroke in younger middle-aged women. 

The closest comparison is with the U.S.-based Nurses' Health Study, which found a 30 percent higher risk of stroke among depressed women. However, the average participant's age in the Nurses' study was 14 years older.

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