Epigenetics of cognition and neurodegenerative disorders

Paul Coleman, Matthew Huentelman, Travis Dunckley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Epigenetics is defined as alterations in RNA transcript expression, or the phenotype of the cell, that are caused by mechanisms other than changes in the associated DNA sequence. This chapter focuses on the general process of gene transcription. It also discusses how epigenetics intervenes in this process, the heritability of cognitive performance, as well as relations between cognition and DNA methylation, histone and chromatin changes, and micro RNAs. In addition, also summarized here is the current state of knowledge surrounding the role of epigenetics in the most common neurodegenerative diseases. Highlighted are the complex regulatory networks at play in the healthy and diseased nervous system, and the tenet that the research findings are promising and suggest new therapeutic avenues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Maze Book
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Practice, and Protocols for Testing Rodent Cognition
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781493921591
ISBN (Print)9781493921584
StatePublished - Mar 10 2015


  • Animal model
  • Behavior
  • Brain
  • DNA
  • Disease
  • Epigenetics
  • Genetic
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Mutation
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Pathology
  • RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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