One of the first classic epigenetics experiments, by researchers at McGill University, found that pups of negligent rat mothers were more sensitive to stress in adulthood than pups that had been raised by doting mothers (Nature Neuroscience, 2004). The differences could be traced to epigenetic markers, chemical tags that attach to strands of DNA and, in the process, turn various genes on and off. Those tags don't just affect individuals during their lifetime, however; like DNA, epigenetic markers can be passed from generation to generation. More recently, the McGill team studied the brains of people who committed suicide, and found those who had been abused in childhood had unique patterns of epigenetic tags in their brains ( Nature Neuroscience , 2009). "Stress gets under the skin, so to speak," McNally says.
The person may notice changes in sleep patterns, emotions, motivation, communication, and ability to think clearly. This is the early, or "prodromal phase" of the illness.
Schizophrenia can cause hallucinations, delusions and unusual behaviors, as well as cognitive challenges, such as problems with memory, attention and concentration.
A hard beginning maketh a good ending.
John Heywood "The Proverbs of John Heywood" (1546)
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