From the ancient greeks, to Shakespeare, to Hollywood, as well as countless other, the myth of the suffering genius is quite persistent. Now, science suggests that it might not be a myth at all.
A new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, reports a genetic basis for the myth. The study is based on the medical and genetic data of 86,000 Icelanders as well as 35,000 Swedes.
The study divides participants into two groups; one associated with high creativity and one who is not. The creative group includes those of a profession that is generally considered to be of an artistic nature such as painter, musician, write or dancer. The second group is composited of non-artistic professions such as farmers or salesperson.
The study conclude that people from the artistic group are 25% more likely to carry the gene variants associated with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
The study was performed by deCODE, a genetic testing company in Reykjavik, Iceland.