Schizophrenia has a heterogeneous and complex etiology that includes multiple candidate genes affected by a variety of mutational mechanisms including epigenetics, functional pathways, and environmental factors. This chapter mainly focuses on reviewing two sets of studies. The first one is whole‐genome next‐generation sequencing datasets involving monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia. The findings suggest that de novo sequence variations may underlie the discordance of monozygotic twins for schizophrenia. Second, whole‐genome DNA methylation study suggesting the role of DNA methylation in the mechanisms of actions of antipsychotic drugs in treating the disorder as well as the manifestation of side effects such as metabolic disorders. Furthermore, we are reporting original research results using next‐generation mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis of a pair of monozygotic twins discordant for schizophrenia as well as their mother. The chapter sheds light on the interplay between sequence variations and epigenetic signatures, including DNA methylation changes, in the etiology and pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Given the dynamic nature of methylation, it may be possible to develop a new treatment strategy for schizophrenia that is based on reversion of genomic methylation. This may involve environmental, dietary, and/or pharmaceutical approaches.
Part of the book: Schizophrenia Treatment