Epigenetic studies of schizophrenia: progress, predicaments, and promises for the future

Schizophr Bull. 2013 Jan;39(1):11-6. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbs139. Epub 2012 Dec 4.


Increased understanding about the functional complexity of the genome has led to growing recognition about the role of epigenetic variation in the etiology of schizophrenia. Epigenetic processes act to dynamically control gene expression independently of DNA sequence variation and are known to regulate key neurobiological and cognitive processes in the brain. To date, our knowledge about the role of epigenetic processes in schizophrenia is limited and based on analyses of small numbers of samples obtained from a range of different cell and tissue types. Moving forward, it will be important to establish cause and effect in epigenetic studies of schizophrenia and broaden our horizons beyond DNA methylation. Rather than investigating genetic and epigenetic factors independently, an integrative etiological research paradigm based on the combination of genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic analyses is required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Methylation / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Epigenomics / methods*
  • Epigenomics / trends*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Schizophrenia / etiology*
  • Schizophrenia / genetics