The exploration of brain epigenomes, including DNA methylation and covalent histone modifications, has provided novel insights into the mechanisms of normal and diseased brain development, and furthermore, deleterious mutations and rare structural variants in more than 50 genes encoding various types of chromatin regulators have been linked to autism spectrum disorders. In this book chapter, we will provide a general introduction on the basic principles of epigenetic regulation, and then discuss matters of epigenetic heritability as it pertains to autism spectrum disorders, highlight monogenic forms of the disorder associated with disordered chromatin structure and function, summarize the current knowledge base as it pertains to epigenetic regulation during normal aging and development, including the alterations that were reported in postmortem brain studies in autism spectrum disorders. We conclude the chapter with a brief discussion on novel epigenetic therapies for neurodevelopmental disease.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Clinical Neuroscience
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameContemporary Clinical Neuroscience
ISSN (Print)2627-535X
ISSN (Electronic)2627-5341


  • Chromatin fiber
  • Chromatin remodeling
  • DNA methylation
  • Histone
  • Keywords
  • Neuronal epigenome
  • Nucleosome
  • Post-translational histone modification


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