Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Epigenetic factors in schizophrenia: mechanisms and experimental approaches.

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-12, 16:56 authored by Melanie FockingMelanie Focking, Benjamin Doyle, Nayla Munawar, Eugene T Dillon, David CotterDavid Cotter, Gerard Cagney
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that is still poorly understood despite decades of study. Many factors have been found to contribute to the pathogenesis, including neurodevelopmental disturbance, genetic risk, and environmental insult, but no single root cause has emerged. While evidence from twin studies suggests a strong heritable component, few individual loci have been identified in genomewide screens, suggesting a role for epigenetic effects. Rather, large numbers of weakly acting loci may cumulatively increase disease risk, including several mapping to epigenetic pathways. In this review, we discuss mechanisms of epigenetic regulation and evidence for an epigenetic contribution to disease phenotype. We further describe the range of experimental tools currently available to study epigenetic effects associated with the disease.



This is the accepted manuscript version of an article published by S. Karger AG in Molecular Neuropsychiatry. 2019;5(1):6-12. available on DOI:

Published Citation

Föcking M, Doyle B, Munawar N, Dillon ET, Cotter D, Cagney G. Epigenetic factors in schizophrenia: mechanisms and experimental approaches. Molecular Neuropsychiatry. 2019;5(1):6-12.

Publication Date

15 Feb 2019

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • Psychiatry

Research Area

  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders


S. Karger AG


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)

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