Neurology Central

New hope: the emerging role of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mental health and disease

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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.

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