Washington, April 13 (IANS) Worrying may have evolved along with intelligence as a beneficial trait, says a recent study.
Jeremy Coplan, professor of psychiatry at University Hospital of Brooklyn, SUNY Downstate, and colleagues found that high intelligence and worry both correlate with brain activity measured by the depletion of choline.
Choline is a vitamin-B, commonly found in egg yolks and spinach. It has a strong impact on mental health, and the liver.
Previous studies have indicated that excessive worry tends to exist both in people with higher intelligence and lower intelligence, and less so in people of moderate intelligence.
It has been hypothesized that people with lower intelligence suffer more anxiety because they achieve less success in life.
"While excessive worry is generally seen as a negative trait and high intelligence as a positive one, worry may cause our species to avoid dangerous situations, regardless of how remote a possibility they may be," said Coplan, the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience reported.
"In essence, worry may make people 'take no chances,' and such people may have higher survival rates. Thus, like intelligence, worry may confer a benefit upon the species," added Coplan, according to a university statement.
Patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) were compared with healthy volunteers to assess the relationship among intelligence quotient (IQ), worry and choline.
In another group of normal volunteers, high IQ was associated with a lower degree of worry, but in those diagnosed with GAD, high IQ was associated with a greater degree of worry.
The correlation between IQ and worry was significant in both the GAD group and the healthy group. However, in the former, the correlation was positive and in the latter, the correlation was negative.
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