Current status and future prospects for epigenetic psychopharmacology

Marco P Boks, Noëlle M de Jong, Martien J H Kas, Christiaan H Vinkers, Cathy Fernandes, René S Kahn, Jonathan Mill, Roel A Ophoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Mounting evidence suggest that epigenetic regulation of brain functions is important in the etiology of psychiatric disorders. These epigenetic regulatory mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone acetylation, are influenced by many pharmaceutical compounds including psychiatric drugs. It is therefore of interest to investigate how psychiatric drugs are of influence and what the potential is of new epigenetic drugs for psychiatric disorders. With this targeted review we summarize the current state of knowledge in order to provide insight in this developing field. Several traditional psychiatric drugs have been found to alter the epigenome and in a variety of animal studies, experimental compounds with epigenetic targets have been investigated as potential psychiatric drugs. After discussion of the most relevant epigenetic mechanisms we present the evidence for epigenetic effects for the most relevant classes of drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-8
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this