Epigenetic Mistakes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

J Mol Neurosci. 2017 Apr;61(4):590-602. doi: 10.1007/s12031-017-0900-6. Epub 2017 Mar 2.


Epigenetics is the array of the chromatin modifications that customize in cell-, stage-, or condition-specific manner the information encloses in plain DNA molecules. Increasing evidences suggest the importance of epigenetic mechanisms for development and maintenance of central nervous system. In fact, a large number of newly discovered genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, and many other syndromes are mutations within genes encoding for chromatin remodeling enzymes. Here, we review recent findings on the epigenetic origin of human diseases, with emphasis on disorders that affect development of the nervous system, and discuss novel therapeutic avenues that target epigenetic mechanisms.

Keywords: Epigenetics; Intellectual disability; Neurodevelopmental disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly
  • DNA Methylation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Humans
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / genetics*