New Evidence for Influence of Epigenetics

 Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have found evidence that a secondary molecular mechanism called epigenetics may also account for some inherited traits and diseases.  Epigenetic factors may help explain currently unclear issues in human disease, such as the presence of a disease in only one monozygotic twin, the different susceptibility of males (e.g. to autism) and females (e.g. to lupus), significant fluctuations in the course of a disease (e.g. bipolar disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis), among numerous others.   These factors represent a new way to look for the molecular cause of disease, and eventually may lead to improved diagnostics and treatment.   See the research reported in Nature Genetics advance online publication January 2009.