This SNP has a very significant impact on intelligence.  It’s rare that a single SNP can explain 2–5% of the variance in general intelligence, given that biology is a large symphony of genes, epigenetics, microbiomes, etc…  The good news is that there are hacks around this SNP.

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3 Different Cohorts

If you want to interpret your genes, you can upload them into SelfDecode, which is the best genetic analyzer out there..

Simple Summary

The SCN2A gene encodes a protein (the α2 subunit of voltage-gated type II sodium channels) that helps neuronal firing throughout the brain (R).

If this gene is more active, it results in more firing between important brain regions involved in higher cognitive function.  This results in better informational processing (R).

The brain regions involved are key regions supporting a broad range of cognitive processes including attention, working memory, conflict detection, and behavioral control (R).

Mutations in SCN2A is implicated in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia (R).

Advanced Summary

The SCN2A gene encodes the α2 subunit of voltage-gated type II sodium channels, which contribute to the generation and propagation of action potentials throughout the brain (R).

The α2 subunit encoded by SCN2A (Nav1.2) specifically mediates the conformational change of sodium channels based on voltage differences across cell membranes (R).

Studies in mice (R) and humans (R) have linked mutations in SCN2A with abnormal electrical activity in the form of epileptic seizures (R).

Furthermore, antiepileptic drugs that inhibit Nav1.2 activity (e.g., topiramate) are associated with a diminished intellectual function.

Mutations in SCN2A is implicated in disorders such as autism and schizophrenia, where impaired cognitive performance is often observed (R).

This gene increases the capacity for information processing between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, which support higher cognitive functions (R).

This gene may contribute to the development of cortical and hippocampal circuits (R).

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex are key nodes supporting a broad range of cognitive processes including attention, working memory, conflict detection, and behavioral control (R).

The voltage-gated type II sodium channels process sensory inputs, including visual processing and/or disorders characterized by visual deficits (R).

This is thought to be mediated by the communication between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and  the middle occipital gyrus (R).

SCN2A Genes

SelfDecode has a few SNPs in the SCN2A gene that belong to the new 23andme chip:

  1. RS10174400 (SCN2A) CT
  2. RS10184275 (SCN2A) AA
  3. RS2119067 (SCN2A) TT
  4. RS2304016 (SCN2A) AG

You need to sign up to SelfDecode to see your SNPs.

The Basic Fix

If you have the SCN2A gene, that results in lower intelligence and you need to take a GSK3 beta inhibitor.

GSK3 inhibitors significantly increase the current of voltage-gated sodium (Na(v)) channels (R), which is lower in certain variations of the gene (R).

See my list of GSK3 beta inhibitors.

Sigma-1 receptor activators directly Inhibit NaV1.2/1.4 Channels (R).

Pregnenolone and DHEA are such activators, while progesterone is a blocker of this receptor (R).  This means you should be careful about pregnenolone and DHEA supplements, but you should explore Progesterone.  On the other hand, Pregnenolone readily converts to progesterone.

Not advised: Beryllium (potent) (R), Mercury (potent) (R), Tungstate (R).

Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick

At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.

That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:

  • Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
  • SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
  • SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
  • SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
  • Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
  • Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
  • Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
  • BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
  • SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics

Check out Lab Test Analyzer!

Get personalized up-to-date science-backed lifestyle, diet, and supplement recommendations based on your lab tests!


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