Is schizophrenia something you are genetically predisposed to or can you develop it? by Connie b. Dellobuono

Answer by Connie b. Dellobuono:

From Wiki:
While there haven't been many studies linking environmental factors to schizophrenia-related epigenetics mechanisms at this point in the field, a few studies have shown interesting results. Advanced paternal age is one of the risk factors for schizophrenia, according to recent research. This is through mutagenesis, which cause further spontaneous changes, or through genomic imprinting. As the parent ages, more and more errors may occur in the epigenetic process.[10] There is also evidence of the association between the inhalation of benzene through the burning of wood and schizophrenic development. This might occur through epigenetic changes.[11] Methamphetamine has also been linked to schizophrenia or similar psychotic symptoms. A recent study found that methamphetamine users had altered DNMT1 levels, similar to how schizophrenic patients have shown abnormal levels of DNMT1 in GABAergic neurons.[12]
One of the most interesting findings relating an environmental factor with schizophrenic epigenetic mechanisms is exposure to nicotine. It has been widely reported that 80% of schizophrenic patients use some form of tobacco.[13] Furthermore, smoking appeared to increase cognition in schizophrenics. However, it was only a recent study Satta et al.that showed that nicotine leads to decreased levels of DNMT1 in GABAergic mouse neurons, a molecule which adds methyl groups to DNA. This led to increased expression of GAD67.
Studies have shown that epigenetic changes can be passed on to future generations through meiosis and mitosis.[8] These findings suggest that environmental factors that the parents face can possibly affect how the child's genetic code is regulated. Research findings have shown this to be true for schizophrenic patients as well. In rats, the transmission of maternal behavior and even stress responses can be attributed to how certain genes in the hippocampus of the mother are methylated.[1] Another study has shown that the methylation of the BDNF gene, which can be affected by early life stress and abuse, is also transmittable to future generations

Is schizophrenia something you are genetically predisposed to or can you develop it?