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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2014 Sep;16(3):405-17.

Epigenetic mechanisms in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Friedman Brain Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA.


in English, French, Spanish

Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder that lacks a unifying neuropathology, while currently available pharmacological treatments provide only limited benefits to many patients. This review will discuss how the field of neuroepigenetics could contribute to advancements of the existing knowledge on the neurobiology and treatment of psychosis. Genome-scale mapping of DMA methylation, histone modifications and variants, and chromosomal loopings for promoter-enhancer interactions and other epigenetic determinants of genome organization and function are likely to provide important clues about mechanisms contributing to dysregulated expression of synaptic and metabolic genes in schizophrenia brain, including the potential links to the underlying genetic risk architecture and environmental exposures. In addition, studies in animal models are providing a rapidly increasing list of chromatin-regulatory mechanisms with significant effects on cognition and complex behaviors, thereby pointing to the therapeutic potential of epigenetic drug targets in the nervous system.


DNA methylation; epigenetic drug target; epigenome; histone modification; prefrontal cortex; psychosis

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