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Review
. 2020 Mar;109(3):443-452.
doi: 10.1111/apa.15050. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Epigenetic programming-The Important First 1000 Days

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Review

Epigenetic programming-The Important First 1000 Days

Agnes Linnér et al. Acta Paediatr. .

Abstract

The perinatal period is a time of fast physiological change, including epigenetic programming. Adverse events may lead to epigenetic changes, with implications for health and disease. Our review covers the basics of clinical epigenetics and explores the latest research, including the role of epigenetic processes in complex disease phenotypes, such as neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative and immunological disorders. Some studies suggest that epigenetic alterations are linked to early life environmental stressors, including mode of delivery, famine, psychosocial stress, severe institutional deprivation and childhood abuse. CONCLUSION: Epigenetic modifications due to perinatal environmental exposures can lead to lifelong, but potentially reversible, phenotypic alterations and disease.

Keywords: deoxyribonucleic acid methylation; developmental origins of health and disease; epigenetics; paediatrics; perinatology.

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