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Review Article

Epigenetic Effects of Psychoactive Drugs

[ Vol. 29 , Issue. 27 ]


Rania Ahmed, Kenneth Blum and Panayotis K. Thanos*   Pages 2124 - 2139 ( 16 )


Currently, and globally, we are facing the worst epidemic of psychoactive drug abuse resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives annually. Besides alcohol and opioid use and misuse, there has been an increase in illicit abuse of psychostimulants. Epigenetics is a relatively novel area of research that studies heritable alterations in gene expression. Long-term administration of psychoactive drugs may lead to transcriptional changes in brain regions related to drug-seeking behaviors and rewards that can be passed down transgenerationally. Epigenetic biomarkers such as DNA methylation and histone modifications contribute to disease diagnoses. This review aims to look at the epigenetic modifications brought forth by psychoactive drug abuse.


Epigenetics, psychoactive drugs, epigenetic biomarkers, DNA methylation, transgenerational, histone modifications.


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