Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Pharm Des. 2015;21(11):1413-7.

Childhood maltreatment and stress-related psychopathology: the epigenetic memory hypothesis.

Author information

1
McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, 6875 LaSalle Boulevard, Verdun, Quebec, Canada, H4H 1R3. Gustavo.Turecki@mcgill.ca.

Abstract

Childhood maltreatment (CM) is all too frequent among western societies, with an estimated prevalence of 10 to 15%. CM associates with increased risk of several psychiatric disorders, and therefore represents a worrying public and socioeconomic burden. While associated clinical outcomes are well characterized, determining by which mechanisms early-life adverse experiences affect mental health over the lifespan is a major challenge. Epigenetic mechanisms, in particular DNA methylation, represent a form of molecular memory that may modify brain function over extended periods of time, as well as serve as a bio-marker of behavioral phenotypes associated with CM. Here, we review human studies suggesting that DNA methylation is a crucial substrate mediating neurobiological consequences of CM throughout life, thereby potentiating maladaptive behavioral patterns and psychopathological risk.

PMID:
25564388
PMCID:
PMC5293542
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Bentham Science Publishers Ltd. Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center