The interplay between DNA methylation, folate and neurocognitive development

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58 Citations (Scopus)


DNA methylation provides an attractive possible means for propagating the effects
of environmental inputs during fetal life and impacting subsequent adult mental
health, which is leading to increasing collaboration between molecular biologists,
nutritionists and psychiatrists. An area of interest is the potential role of folate, not just in neural tube closure in early pregnancy, but in later major eurodevelopmental events, with consequences for later sociocognitive maturation. Here, we set the scene for recent discoveries by reviewing the major events of neural development during fetal life, with an emphasis on tissues and structures where dynamic methylation changes are known to occur. Following this, we give an indication of some of the major classes of genes targeted by methylation and important for neurological and behavioral development. Finally, we highlight some cognitive disorders where methylation changes are implicated as playing an important role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-879
Number of pages16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 20 Jun 2016


  • 5-hydroxymethylation
  • Barker hypothesis
  • DNMT1
  • DNMT3A
  • homocysteine
  • MeCP2
  • TET


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