Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4261-4273; doi:10.3390/ijerph10094261
Review

Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy

1,2,3,* email, 4email, 5email and 6email
Received: 21 June 2013; in revised form: 14 August 2013 / Accepted: 6 September 2013 / Published: 11 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment Risk of Autism)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by dysfunctions in social interactions, communications, restricted interests, and repetitive stereotypic behaviors. Despite extensive genetic and biological research, significant controversy surrounds our understanding of the specific mechanisms of their pathogenesis. However, accumulating evidence points to the involvement of epigenetic modifications as foundational in creating ASD pathophysiology. Epigenetic modifications or the alteration of DNA transcription via variations in DNA methylation and histone modifications but without alterations in the DNA sequence, affect gene regulation. These alterations in gene expression, obtained through DNA methylation and/or histone modifications, result from transcriptional regulatory influences of environmental factors, such as nutritional deficiencies, various toxicants, immunological effects, and pharmaceuticals. As such these effects are epigenetic regulators which determine the final biochemistry and physiology of the individual. In contrast to psychopharmacological interventions, bettering our understanding of how these gene-environmental interactions create autistic symptoms should facilitate the development of therapeutic targeting of gene expression for ASD biomedical care.
Keywords: autism; gene expression; environmental factors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Siniscalco, D.; Cirillo, A.; Bradstreet, J.J.; Antonucci, N. Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 4261-4273.

AMA Style

Siniscalco D, Cirillo A, Bradstreet JJ, Antonucci N. Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(9):4261-4273.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Siniscalco, Dario; Cirillo, Alessandra; Bradstreet, James J.; Antonucci, Nicola. 2013. "Epigenetic Findings in Autism: New Perspectives for Therapy." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 9: 4261-4273.


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