Psychiatric disorders including major depressive disorder, drug addiction, and schizophrenia are debilitating illnesses with a multitude of complex symptoms underlying each of these disorders. In recent years, it has become appreciated that the onset and development of these disorders goes beyond the one gene-one disease approach. Rather, the involvement of many genes is likely linked to these illnesses, and regulating the activation or silencing of gene function may play a crucial role in contributing to their pathophysiology. Epigenetic modifications such as histone acetylation and deacetylation, as well as DNA methylation can induce lasting and stable changes in gene expression, and have therefore been implicated in promoting the adaptive behavioral and neuronal changes that accompany each of these illnesses. In this review we will discuss some of the latest work implicating a potential role for epigenetics in psychiatric disorders, namely, depression, addiction, and schizophrenia as well as a possible role in treatment.
This review article gives an overview of the epigenetics of several important psychiatric disorders, including addictions, depression, and schizophrenia. It's a good introduction to one of the impacts epigenetics has on phenotype.