Epigenetic regulation in psychiatric disorders

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 May;8(5):355-67. doi: 10.1038/nrn2132.


Many neurological and most psychiatric disorders are not due to mutations in a single gene; rather, they involve molecular disturbances entailing multiple genes and signals that control their expression. Recent research has demonstrated that complex 'epigenetic' mechanisms, which regulate gene activity without altering the DNA code, have long-lasting effects within mature neurons. This review summarizes recent evidence for the existence of sustained epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in neurons that have been implicated in the regulation of complex behaviour, including abnormalities in several psychiatric disorders such as depression, drug addiction and schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Mental Disorders / pathology
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / physiology