Schizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder characterised by the presence of positive, negative and cognitive symptoms that lack a unifying neuropathology. The absence of consistently replicated genetic effects, together with evidence for lasting changes in gene expression after environmental exposures, suggests a role of epigenetic mechanisms. In this chapter, we will focus on these mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, hydroxymethylation, histone modifications or non-coding RNA, as key mechanisms through which environmental factors interact with individual’s genetic constitution which affect the risk of psychotic conditions throughout life. Due to the advances experienced in recent years, it is to be expected that in the next decades, an increasing amount of data will provide us with a more complete landscape of the contribution of epigenetics to the development of mental disorders such as schizophrenia.
Part of the book: Psychotic Disorders