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Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) harbours a polymorphic upstream variable-number tandem repeat (u-VNTR). The MAOA-L allele of the u-VNTR leads to decreased gene expression levels in vitro and has been found to increase the risk of conduct disorder in males with childhood adversities. Early-life adversities have been associated with hypermethylation of the(More)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) defines a group of common, complex neurodevelopmental disorders. Although the aetiology of ASD has a strong genetic component, there is considerable monozygotic (MZ) twin discordance indicating a role for non-genetic factors. Because MZ twins share an identical DNA sequence, disease-discordant MZ twin pairs provide an ideal(More)
Addiction is a debilitating psychiatric disorder, with a complex aetiology involving the interaction of inherited predispositions and environmental factors. Emerging evidence suggests that epigenetic alterations to the genome, including DNA methylation and histone modifications, are important mechanisms underlying addiction and the neurobiological response(More)
Research investigating associations between specific genes and individual differences with regards to the quality and timing of sleep has primarily focussed on serotonin-related and clock genes. However, there are only a few studies of this type and most of those to date have not considered the possibility of gene-environment interaction. Here, we describe(More)
BACKGROUND Childhood adverse experiences are known to induce persistent changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. However, the mechanisms by which these experiences shape the neuroendocrine response to stress remain unclear. Method We tested whether bullying victimization influenced serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA(More)
Epigenetic processes play a key role in orchestrating transcriptional regulation during development. The importance of DNA methylation in fetal brain development is highlighted by the dynamic expression of de novo DNA methyltransferases during the perinatal period and neurodevelopmental deficits associated with mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2(More)
Anxiety disorders that are the most commonly occurring psychiatric disorders in childhood, are associated with a range of social and educational impairments and often continue into adulthood. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment option for the majority of cases, although up to 35-45% of children do not achieve remission. Recent(More)
Addictions are common psychiatric disorders that exert high cost to the individual and to society. Addictions are a result of the interplay of multiple genetic and environmental factors. They are characterized by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity as well as polygenicity, implying a contribution of different neurobiological mechanisms to the clinical(More)
BACKGROUND Cognitive biases have long been hypothesized to influence the development and maintenance of symptoms of internalizing problems. Anxiety sensitivity represents one such bias and refers to sensitivity to the physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety and the belief that these are harmful. Twin studies indicate a role for both environmental and(More)
Childhood psychotic symptoms are associated with increased rates of schizophrenia, other psychiatric disorders, and suicide attempts in adulthood; thus, elucidating early risk indicators is crucial to target prevention efforts. There is considerable discordance for psychotic symptoms between monozygotic twins, indicating that child-specific non-genetic(More)