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Developmental Neuroepigenetics

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Research into epigenetic mechanisms, from the molecular to the behavioral, has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the brain and behavior over the past decade. It is now clear that the environment can cause lasting change in brain function and behavior not only across an individual lifespan, ...

Research into epigenetic mechanisms, from the molecular to the behavioral, has made tremendous contributions to our understanding of the brain and behavior over the past decade. It is now clear that the environment can cause lasting change in brain function and behavior not only across an individual lifespan, but into subsequent generations as well. This is not only true in model systems, but in human beings as well, as studies familial transmission of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) make clear. Of course, these findings are not limited to PTSD and our rapidly advancing understanding of neuroepigenetics makes possible a paradigmatic shift in our understanding of complex brain disorders and the capacity of the brain to adapt, and maladapt to the environment.

This research topic seeks to present an overarching view of those advances with an eye to the developmental context in which epigenetic factors play such a significant role. Particular attention will be paid to neuroepigenetic events that have life long, or even trans-generational consequences for the organisms in which they occur. The Editors and Authors will also strive to attend to the translational relevance of these findings to a variety of neurologic and psychiatric diseases, from Rhett Syndrome and drug abuse to PTSD and emerging syndromes such as those induced by early life abuse and neglect.


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