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Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 7. doi: 10.1038/s41380-018-0129-y. [Epub ahead of print]

Somatic mutations in the human brain: implications for psychiatric research.

Author information

1
Division for Counseling and Support, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
2
Department of Molecular Brain Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.
3
PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama, Japan.
4
Department of Molecular Brain Science, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan. iwamotok@kumamoto-u.ac.jp.
5
Laboratory for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Saitama, Japan. kato@brain.riken.jp.

Abstract

Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are caused by complex gene-environment interactions. While recent advances in genomic technologies have enabled the identification of several risk variants for psychiatric conditions, including single-nucleotide variants and copy-number variations, these factors can explain only a portion of the liability to these disorders. Although non-inherited factors had previously been attributed to environmental causes, recent genomic analyses have demonstrated that de novo mutations are among the main non-inherited risk factors for several psychiatric conditions. Somatic mutations in the brain may also explain how stochastic developmental events and environmental insults confer risk for a psychiatric disorder following fertilization. Here, we review evidence regarding somatic mutations in the brains of individuals with and without neuropsychiatric diseases. We further discuss the potential biological mechanisms underlying somatic mutations in the brain as well as the technical issues associated with the detection of somatic mutations in psychiatric research.

PMID:
30087451
DOI:
10.1038/s41380-018-0129-y

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