London: Now, functioning of the brain is being linked to family’s genetic makeup, as scientists say efficacy of a person’s brain network is based on genes.

Lead author of 'Journal of Neuroscience' Dr Alex Fornito said the findings have important implications for understanding why some people are better able to perform certain tasks than others and genetic basis of mental illnesses and some neurological diseases.

"The brain tries to maximise by striking a balance between making more connections to promote efficient communication and minimising the 'cost' or amount of wiring required to make these connections,” Dr Fornito added.

As per researchers, the study could help uncover which specific genes are important in explaining differences in cognitive abilities, risk for mental illness and diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's, leading to gene-based therapies for these disorders.

"Although genes play a major role in brain function, the environment and other factors contribute to when things go wrong in cases of mental illness and other brain disorders," he said.

Using new techniques, the researchers were able to construct detailed maps of each person’s brain network and measured the cost-efficiency of network connections for the entire brain, as well as for specific brain regions.

"We found that people differed greatly in terms of how cost-efficient the functioning of their brain networks were, and that over half of these differences could be explained by genes," said Dr Fornito.

Across the entire brain, more than half (60 per cent) of the differences between people could be explained by genes. Some of the strongest effects were observed for regions of the prefrontal cortex that play a vital role in planning, memory, strategic thinking and decision-making.

"This exciting discovery opens up a whole new area of research focus for scientists around the world," he said.

 

(Agency)