Epigenetic analysis of neurocognitive development at 1 year of age in a community-based pregnancy cohort


Multiple studies show that molecular genetic changes and epigenetic modifications affect the risk of cognitive disability or impairment. However, the role of epigenetic variation in cognitive development of neurotypical young children remains largely unknown. Using data from a prospective, community-based study of mother-infant pairs, we investigated the association of DNA methylation patterns in neonatal umbilical cord blood with cognitive and language development at 1 year of age. No CpG loci achieved genome-wide significance, although a small number of weakly suggestive associations with Bayley-III Receptive Communication scales were noted. While umbilical cord blood is a convenient resource for genetic analyses of birth outcomes, our results do not provide conclusive evidence that its use for DNA methylation profiling yields epigenetic markers that are directly related to postnatal neurocognitive outcomes at 1 year of age. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Publication Title

Behavior Genetics