Monday, October 31, 2011

Epigenetic clue to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Epigenetic factors have recently been implicated in certain psychological disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Researchers noticed a difference in the methylation patterns of the gene ST6GALNAC1, which has been previously linked to schizophrenia, GPR24 which has been linked to bipolar disorder, and ZNF694 across 22 pairs of monozygotic twins. Interestingly, over-methylation of ZNF694 was associated with schizophrenia, and under-methylation with bipolar disorder. These new findings provide possible mechanisms of early diagnosis of psychosis, and further twin studies could allow greater resolution into the timing and causation of onset of psychiatric disorders.

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