Original Publication Date: >14 July, 2016
Publication / Source: Epigenomics
Authors: Andy Madrid, Ligia A Papale & Reid S Alisch
Historically biomedical research has examined genetic influences on mental health but these approaches have been limited, likely due to the broad heritability of brain-related disorders (e.g., 30–90%). Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, are environmentally sensitive mechanisms that may play a role in the origins and progression of mental illness. Recently, genome-wide disruptions of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) were associated with the development of early and late onset mental illnesses such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease, bringing new hope to the field of psychiatry.