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

Early Epigenetic Nutrition ‘Memory’ Could Program You for Obesity Later in Life

April 24, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

For decades, we’ve known how important it is to receive proper nutrition during early stages of life. Nutritional experiences in the beginning of development can set the stage for many things, including body weight, and can even affect the risk of obesity as we get older. Recent research supports the idea that poor nutrition at the beginning of pregnancy or while a baby is nursing can be stored as molecular epigenetic “memory” on the child’s genome, potentially setting them up [more…]

Protective Epigenetic Marks Go Awry in Alzheimer’s Disease

April 10, 2018 Tim Barry

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease that occurs due to an accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. It affects over 5 million Americans of all ages, particularly those over 65 years of age and is one of the leading causes of death in the US. Currently, there are no sure ways to cure, prevent or even slow down progression of the disease. It is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and [more…]

Researchers Combine Epigenetics and Brain Imaging to Help Combat PTSD

April 3, 2018 Estephany Ferrufino

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health issue that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening or intensely stressful event. PTSD can exert an enormous toll on an individual’s life, affecting their daily activities and relationships. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 or 8 of every 100 people will experience this disorder at some point in their lives. Anyone can develop PTSD at any age, including children, war veterans, and people who have been [more…]

Epigenetics May Explain Why Stress From Exercise is Good for the Heart

March 6, 2018 Tim Barry

In the exercise community, it is often preached that working out is a form of medicine and can be crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Routine exercise helps to retain healthy body weight and has been shown to lower the risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. It’s even been shown to keep the brain healthy. High-intensity exercise places a “good stress” on the heart allowing robust function – but why is stress from exercise considered [more…]

Paternal Environmental and Lifestyle Factors Influence Epigenetic Inheritance

February 28, 2018 Estephany Ferrufino

There is strong evidence that suggests certain environmental or lifestyle factors may lead to increased risk of developing chronic diseases. These factors such as diet, behavior, stress, exposure to pollutants, and physical activity have been known to cause epigenetic changes which may be passed down from one generation to the next. It is believed that a father’s exposure to environmental factors can play a role in an offspring’s epigenetic patterns and health. Recent evidence suggests that sperm epigenetic modifications can [more…]

Natural Compounds in Grapes Could Lead Us to An Epigenetic Treatment for Depression

February 6, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Recent research suggests that our diet and lifestyle can change the expression of our genes. This occurs by adjusting epigenetic marks on top of our DNA without actually making any changes to the underlying genetic sequence. For example, blueberries were found to epigenetically reduce DNA damage and drinking green tea may turn some genes on or off in women. In a new epigenetic study published in Nature Communications, researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have identified two [more…]

Ovarian Cancer Treatment May Be Found In Epigenetic Therapy

January 15, 2018 Tim Barry

Ovarian cancer is not the most common of cancers, but it is the leading cause of gynecological cancer related death for women in the U.S. It is often hard to detect; many women don’t display symptoms until it’s in an advanced stage, and then it may be too late for treatment as it can easily spread to the uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes. Treatments typically include chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, or clinical trials for up-and-coming medicines; however, the new field [more…]

Bipolar Disorder Linked to Accelerated Epigenetic Aging

January 2, 2018 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Bipolar disorder affects nearly 6 million Americans and is characterized by drastic shifts in mood, activity levels, and energy, which influences an individual’s ability to carry out daily tasks. It’s a dangerously misunderstood disease and can be easily misdiagnosed. The extreme adjustments in mood – known as mania and depression – are more severe than the typical ups and downs that many people experience. Researchers are finding that something called premature epigenetic aging might play a role in this disease [more…]

Epigenetic Marks on a Stress-Related Gene Linked to Suicide Risk

December 26, 2017 Bailey Kirkpatrick

Many people consider suicide to be taboo, and it’s a subject that is often avoided. However, the more we understand the reasoning behind why some people are pressed to commit suicide, the better equipped we may be to offer support and guidance for treatment. Interestingly, certain lifestyles and various environmental factors might be able to influence a specific gene linked to stress, which could increase suicide risk in adults and even adolescents. In a new study, researchers from Uppsala University, [more…]

Panic Disorder Might Have an Epigenetic Explanation

December 18, 2017 Estephany Ferrufino

Fight-or-flight is a physiological response that occurs when an individual has been exposed to a perceived threat. This well-known stress response pathway is critical for the survival of many organisms. However, people with different types of anxiety-driven disorders can experience intense stress even with little to no stimuli. For individuals who suffer from anxiety disorders, the feeling of worry and anxiety do not go away. The recurring waves of fear that set off a fight-or-flight response may interfere with daily [more…]

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