[Epigenetic: a link between environment and genome]

Sante Ment Que. 2012 Autumn;37(2):31-44. doi: 10.7202/1014943ar.
[Article in French]


Adversity during childhood has for long been known to increase the risk of developing mental health problems in adulthood. Yet, it is only recently that epigenetic mechanisms have been identified as representing an interface on which the environment acts upon to induce behavioral changes. These changes affecting the expression of certain genes, without however modifying DNA sequences, particularly interfere with the functioning of systems regulating response to stress. In the long term, adversity during childhood, by inducing these epigenetic changes, predisposes some individuals in developing mental health problems in adulthood. This article examines the epigenetic impact of adversity during childhood and its behavioral consequences on mental health.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Epigenomics*
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*