Epigenetic Imbalance Could Lead To Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia

August 13, 2019 Tim Barry

The importance of mental health is a prominent and ongoing issue in the United States. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults experiences a mental illness in a given year, which can make living a healthy lifestyle challenging.  Some mental illnesses are due to problems with brain chemistry and are not well understood, therefore are severely under-treated. Dopamine—one of our brain’s “feel good” chemicals— is a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for transporting information [more…]

Epigenetic and Genetic Connections to Schizophrenia in the Developing Brain

December 8, 2015 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Connections between epigenetics and schizophrenia have been previously speculated, although no one knows for certain exactly how epigenetic tags may or may not control the development of the disease. Now, research conducted by a group of international scientists is helping us to understand the epigenetic and genetic components of schizophrenia in the developing human brain. Headed by researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School, Cardiff University and King’s College London, the study was published in Nature Neuroscience and details, [more…]

The Epigenetics of Schizophrenia

December 8, 2014 Adam Alonzi

The nascent field of epigenetics has been helpful in elucidating upon other polygenic traits and diseases. Thus it only seems logical to apply it to the study of , a chronic and debilitating illness with a sundry of risk factors. In his widely cited 2013 article, Dr. Thomas Insel defines schizophrenia as “a collection of signs and symptoms of unknown aetiology, predominantly defined by observed signs of psychosis.” The NIMH estimates it affects 1 out of 100 people. Yet in [more…]

Your Zodiac Sign and Epigenetics

September 3, 2019 Natalie Crowley

Do you know your zodiac sign and what it means? If you do, perhaps you have the qualities that are typically predicted for people under that sign. According to astrologers, your zodiac sign, which refers to the position of the stars on the date you were born, can strongly influence your personality and life. But how can something so far away, like the stars or any other celestial object, control one’s behavior or predict occurrences? Well, there’s no scientific evidence [more…]

What is Paleoepigenetics?

April 30, 2019 Hayley Mann

To unravel the complexities surrounding the genome, advanced technologies in genomics and epigenetics are typically necessary. Most of these tests and instruments are designed with high-quality DNA and tissue specimens in mind. Accordingly, scientists preferentially use concentrated and freshly extracted DNA to achieve the best results. Yet, some researchers do not have the luxury of working with modern DNA. This is why the field of ancient DNA (aDNA) emerged. Evolutionary biologists and anthropologists that study humans and other organisms from [more…]

Epigenetic Marks on DNA May Indicate Breast Cancer Risks

October 9, 2018 Lisa Fox

It’s hard not to know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. Nearly one in eight women will battle this disease in her lifetime and for those women affected it becomes the battle for their life. Early detection and medical advances stem the tide of this disease, but each study brings us a little closer to unlocking ways to combat it. While women (and men) with a family history are at higher risk for developing breast cancer, a recent [more…]

Epigenetic Study Identifies a Novel Biomarker for an Elusive Bladder Disease

May 8, 2018 Natalie Crowley

Running to the restroom is normal when you’ve got a full bladder ready to burst. But constantly feeling the urge to go multiple times a day can be uncomfortable and debilitating, especially if it’s accompanied by severe pelvic pain. For those suffering from interstitial cystitis (also called painful bladder syndrome), this is an unfortunate reality – one that is often misdiagnosed and challenging to treat. In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, researchers from the US and Korea may [more…]

The Epigenetics of Depression

March 17, 2015 Adam Alonzi

Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects up to 17% of the world’s population. The WHO estimates it will be the second most costly disease to world governments by 2020. As devastating as it is to those who suffer from it, and to their loved ones, relatively little is known about its exact causes, and while diagnosis and treatment have advanced greatly over the past twenty years, far too many people continue to slip through the cracks (only about 50% of patients [more…]

Folate Deficiency in a Father’s Diet Could Cause Negative Pregnancy Outcomes by Changing Sperm Epigenome

December 18, 2013 WhatIsEpigenetics

Scientists at McGill University, Canada reported that folate deficiency in a father’s diet could increase birth defects in the offspring by altering sperm epigenome. These defects include craniofacial and musculoskeletal malformations. The scientists fed male mice either a folate-deficient or folate-sufficient diet throughout life and then performed genome-wide DNA methylation analysis and subsequent functional analysis to identify differential methylation in sperm of genes implicated in development, and chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. They found that >300 [more…]

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