The role of the environment in causing schizophrenia is a hotly debated topic, with many theories focusing on the stressful environmental around the early adult period that typically heralds the onset of clinical symptoms of schizophrenia. The Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) today released the results of a study that shed new insights. The study, “Mapping DNA methylation across development, genotype and schizophrenia in the human frontal cortex.” was published in Nature Neuroscience.
The study conducted is one of the largest studies of postmortem human brain tissue. Its findings suggest that environmental influences during the prenatal period cause brain changes associated with schizophrenia and that such influences in early adulthood, when symptoms of the illness typically emerge, may not be as important as originally thought.