Searching for the Elusive Epigenetic Influence on Schizophrenia

Two studies of DNA methylation offer more evidence that the way genes are turned on and off could be a source of risk for schizophrenia. The first paper, published in JAMA Psychiatry on May 1, surveyed the gene-suppressing methylation marks on DNA obtained from blood samples from nearly 2,000 people and identified 172 sites associated with schizophrenia. The second paper, published online in the American Journal of Human Genetics on April 13, found that certain genotypes were associated with varying levels of methylation found in the brain, suggesting the presence of genetic variants that control these epigenetic marks. Among these were single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) already associated with schizophrenia.

Though both studies indicate a role for methylation in schizophrenia, the specifics remain unclear.

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I am encouraged by this, but I don’t understand it. It could also be due to the fact that my grandmother is in the hospital with pneumonia. We are driving up tonight, so I might lose a lot of sleep if we drive back late. Lack of sleep has been causing problems for me lately.