Genes learn from stress

Research report (imported) 2009 - Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

Dietmar Spengler
Molekulare Neuroendokrinologie (Dr. Dietmar Spengler)
MPI für Psychiatrie, München
Early-life stress causes attachment of elementary chemical markings – so-called methyl groups – to our genetic material, resulting in persistent alteration of the activity of genes. This discovery was possible by help of mice which were separated from their mothers shortly after birth and, as a consequence of this, showed elevated stress hormones and reduced stress tolerance all their life. In case of corresponding disposition both are precursors to major depression.

For the full text, see the German version.

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