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Genes 2016, 7(12), 117; doi:10.3390/genes7120117

Cord Blood DNA Methylation Biomarkers for Predicting Neurodevelopmental Outcomes

Department of Neonatal Medicine, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide 5006, Australia
School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
Robinson Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jeffrey Craig and Thomas Mikeska
Received: 7 June 2016 / Revised: 19 November 2016 / Accepted: 29 November 2016 / Published: 3 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetic Biomarkers)
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Adverse environmental exposures in pregnancy can significantly alter the development of the fetus resulting in impaired child neurodevelopment. Such exposures can lead to epigenetic alterations like DNA methylation, which may be a marker of poor cognitive, motor and behavioral outcomes in the infant. Here we review studies that have assessed DNA methylation in cord blood following maternal exposures that may impact neurodevelopment of the child. We also highlight some key studies to illustrate the potential for DNA methylation to successfully identify infants at risk for poor outcomes. While the current evidence is limited, in that observations to date are largely correlational, in time and with larger cohorts analyzed and longer term follow-up completed, we may be able to develop epigenetic biomarkers that not only indicate adverse early life exposures but can also be used to identify individuals likely to be at an increased risk of impaired neurodevelopment even in the absence of detailed information regarding prenatal environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetics; DNA methylation; neurodevelopment; cord blood epigenetics; DNA methylation; neurodevelopment; cord blood
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hodyl, N.A.; Roberts, C.T.; Bianco-Miotto, T. Cord Blood DNA Methylation Biomarkers for Predicting Neurodevelopmental Outcomes. Genes 2016, 7, 117.

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