Next Article in Journal
Halobacterium salinarum virus ChaoS9, a Novel Halovirus Related to PhiH1 and PhiCh1
Next Article in Special Issue
Perinatal Lead (Pb) Exposure and Cortical Neuron-Specific DNA Methylation in Male Mice
Previous Article in Journal
Beyond Biodiversity: Can Environmental DNA (eDNA) Cut It as a Population Genetics Tool?
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Review of Epigenetics of PTSD in Comorbid Psychiatric Conditions
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview

Using Openly Accessible Resources to Strengthen Causal Inference in Epigenetic Epidemiology of Neurodevelopment and Mental Health

1
Medical Research Council Integrative Epidemiology Unit, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK
2
Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK
3
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(3), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10030193
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics, Environment, and Brain Disorders)
  |  
PDF [1721 KB, uploaded 6 March 2019]
  |  

Abstract

The recent focus on the role of epigenetic mechanisms in mental health has led to several studies examining the association of epigenetic processes with psychiatric conditions and neurodevelopmental traits. Some studies suggest that epigenetic changes might be causal in the development of the psychiatric condition under investigation. However, other scenarios are possible, e.g., statistical confounding or reverse causation, making it particularly challenging to derive conclusions on causality. In the present review, we examine the evidence from human population studies for a possible role of epigenetic mechanisms in neurodevelopment and mental health and discuss methodological approaches on how to strengthen causal inference, including the need for replication, (quasi-)experimental approaches and Mendelian randomization. We signpost openly accessible resources (e.g., “MR-Base” “EWAS catalog” as well as tissue-specific methylation and gene expression databases) to aid the application of these approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA methylation; epigenetics; mental health; neurodevelopment; causal inference; Mendelian randomization DNA methylation; epigenetics; mental health; neurodevelopment; causal inference; Mendelian randomization
Figures

Graphical abstract

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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Walton, E.; Relton, C.L.; Caramaschi, D. Using Openly Accessible Resources to Strengthen Causal Inference in Epigenetic Epidemiology of Neurodevelopment and Mental Health. Genes 2019, 10, 193.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Genes EISSN 2073-4425 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top