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Early life adversity affects broad regions of brain DNA

Study provides strong evidence of a biological process that embeds social experience in DNA that affects not just a few genes but entire networks of genes.
Wed, 2012-10-10 12:41

Early life experience results in a broad change in the way our DNA is “epigenetically” chemically marked in the brain by a coat of small chemicals called methyl groups, according to researchers at McGill University. A group of researchers led by Prof. Moshe Szyf, a professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the Faculty of Medicine, and research scientists at the Douglas Institute have discovered a remarkable similarity in the way the DNA in human brains and the DNA in animal brains respond to early life adversity. The finding suggests an evolutionary conserved mechanism of response to early life adversity affecting a large number of genes in the genome. 

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