Dr. Helene Fachim et al’s publication in the journal Epigenomic, shows a link between childhood trauma and schizophrenia. Schizophrenia results from a combination of genetic and environmental influences. We investigated how some changes in genes can be silenced by a process named DNA methylation and may be linked to schizophrenia. For this reason, we hypothesized that childhood trauma, an environmental risk factor, would be associated with DNA methylation in schizophrenia patients compared with their unaffected siblings and controls. Our research has shown that altered blood DNA methylation of one candidate gene for psychiatric disorders may be associated with childhood trauma in the unaffected siblings of schizophrenia patients, but not in frank schizophrenia or controls. We believe that this gene plays an important role in helping identify vulnerable as well as resilient individuals to schizophrenia disorder.
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