Methylation and Its Effects on Brain Function
Weng et al (2014) conducted research on young mice to examine how extensively DNA methylation within the brain is regulated by nutrition early in life. The thalamus and hippocampus of malnourished mice were compared to the brains of normal mice, with the two regions showing differences in their levels of DNA methylation. 500 variations of gene methylation were found in the thalamus, with 60% of these variations relating to development of nerve cells and psychiatric disease. This shows the DNA methylation status of parts of the brain can differ, and is affected by malnutrition from a young age. This also highlights malnutrition from a young age may increase the risk of psychiatric disorders.