Articles that explore the connection between epigenetics and diseases and disorders, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and more.

Severe COVID-19 Reaction in Children Carries a Distinctive Epigenetic Signature

August 2, 2022 Natalie Crowley

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals in hot zones like New York City were bursting with incoming patients. Remarkably, very few of them were under 18. The reason is still a mystery, but somehow most children and teens appear to be protected from getting the worst of COVID-19.  This assumption was tested in April 2020, when doctors from the UK and US documented a presentation in children of a severe shock-like illness similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic [more…]

The Epigenetics of Antifungal Resistance

July 19, 2022 Adam Alonzi

Decades of antibiotic and antifungal use have dramatically impacted the global microbiome, with ramifications for agriculture and human health. Worries are mounting but no systematic plans of action are forthcoming. Though that is not to say there are no slivers of hope. While they are still largely confined to immunocompromised patients, fungal infections are a looming public health crisis. Invasive candidiasis is increasingly caused by multidrug-resistant non-albicans yeasts and nearly 60% of C. parapsilosi sampled in South Africa are now [more…]

Epigenetic Study Reveals Novel Subgroups for Type 2 Diabetes

July 5, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Today over 400 million people around the globe are living with diabetes, the more significant majority of which have type 2. In all cases, the disease disrupts the body’s use of glucose, making it difficult for cells to take in needed sugar from the blood. Over time, high blood sugar levels can lead to problems with the kidneys, nerves, eyes, and feet, as well as comorbidities like heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is a chronic condition, meaning that people who [more…]

Alleviating Epigenetically-Regulated Chronic Pain

June 21, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Pain is a natural symptom of damage to the body, either done by disease or injury. Usually, it subsides upon healing. But when pain persists beyond healing, or occurs for no apparent reason for a prolonged period of time, it is more than just a symptom. It is a chronic condition in its own right that needs attention. However, chronic pain is difficult to treat, even diagnose properly, because it is poorly understood in many cases. Plus, conventional therapies are [more…]

Epigenetically Reversing Mental Health Disorders that Arise from Adolescent Binge Drinking

June 7, 2022 Natalie Crowley

Imagine being able to undo some of the bad mistakes we made in our youth, like drinking too much. It’s been well reported that excessive alcohol consumption in adolescents can lead to serious health problems later on in life. Anxiety and continued alcohol dependence are two issues that often result from underage alcohol exposure, and both are difficult to treat. Now scientists in the field of epigenetics are finding that it may be possible to reverse some of the damage [more…]

Epigenetic Study Identifies Potential Drug Targets for a Rare Type of Bone Marrow Cancer

April 12, 2022 Natalie Crowley

There are many treatment options for cancer today, yet it continues to be a major health problem, killing hundreds of thousands of people in the US each year. While conventional therapies like chemo and radiation have successfully extended survival rates, they don’t necessarily work for all patients, especially those with late-stage or rare cancers. As a result, more advanced treatments and diagnostic methods are being sought after to stem the cancer death toll. One research area that shows great promise [more…]

Epigenetic Marks Indicate Early Type 1 Diabetes Risk

March 29, 2022 Natalie Crowley

We hear a lot about the rise in type 2 diabetes worldwide, which primarily affects people in their 40s and 50s. But the same is also true for the less common type 1 diabetes (T1D). Global rates for this autoimmune disease have been increasing in recent years, and the trend is very troubling. T1D usually occurs in younger people and has a greater potential for causing disabilities and early death. No one knows exactly why this disease has risen significantly [more…]

Racial Health Disparities Linked to Epigenetic Elements

February 15, 2022 Natalie Crowley

When it comes to health, race typically has an impact. Evidence compiled over several decades points out marked differences in morbidity and mortality rates across varying racial and ethnic minority groups. And while these disparities can arise from any number of environmental or social exposures, exactly how they detrimentally affect the human body and why they continue to impact certain minority groups is not entirely understood.  Most findings attribute minority health disparities to inequalities in education, socioeconomic status, access to [more…]

The Rwanda Genocide Left Lasting Marks on the DNA of Traumatized Women and Their Children

February 1, 2022 Natalie Crowley

In 1994, one of the most horrific civil wars took place in the rural country of Rwanda. In a period of about 100 days, nearly one million people died. Most of the dead were Tutsi – a minority group that was targeted for extermination by the government. In the aftermath of the genocide, many survivors were left with mental health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Although decades have passed, the Rwandan people continue to cope with [more…]

Uncovering the DNA Methylation Profile of Brain Immune Cells

January 18, 2022 Natalie Crowley

We all know by now, especially in the days of COVID-19, how crucial it is to have a properly working immune system. If our bodies can produce the right antibodies and white blood cells to protect us from invading pathogens, we can survive an illness. Sometimes, the body’s immune system is out of whack, doing more damage than good, which is why understanding how immune cells work is essential for developing ways to overcome diseases. Interestingly, the brain and central [more…]

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