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Chapter 19 - Section summary and perspectives: Neurodevelopmental disorders and regulation of epigenetic changes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2012

James E. Barrett
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia
Joseph T. Coyle
Affiliation:
Harvard University School of Medicine, Massachusetts
Michael Williams
Affiliation:
Drexel University, Philadelphia
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Summary

There is increasing recognition that many central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including those involving neurodevelopment, may represent disorders of epigenetic regulation. Recently, a new level of epigenetic regulation by small noncoding RNAs, termed microRNAs (miRNAs), has been discovered that regulates gene expression at different levels. The field of epigenetics may be an important approach to breaking the bottleneck in the understanding and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Unlike the DNA sequence, epigenetic changes are reversible, providing opportunities to affect those changes that occur though dysregulation and opening up new opportunities for the treatment of CNS disorders. As such, the widespread importance of epigenetic modification to the neurosciences may herald a new era both in our understanding of the pathophysiology of these disorders and in the ability to develop new therapeutics to treat them. These studies could be of critical importance for the treatment and prevention of autism and other genetic disorders.
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Translational Neuroscience
Applications in Psychiatry, Neurology, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
, pp. 334 - 338
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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