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AJP CME: June 2018 - Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood

Activity Type:

  • Journal CME

Release Date: 6/1/2018

Expiration Date: 5/31/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 1
  • Participation: 1



Objective: DNA methylation has been proposed as an epigenetic mechanism by which early-life experiences become “embedded” in the genome and alter transcriptional processes to compromise health. The authors sought to investigate whether early-life victimization stress is associated with genome-wide DNA methylation.

Method: The authors tested the hypothesis that victimization is associated with DNA methylation in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Study, a nationally representative 1994–1995 birth cohort of 2,232 twins born in England and Wales and assessed at ages 5, 7, 10, 12, and 18 years. Multiple forms of victimization were ascertained in childhood and adolescence (including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect; exposure to intimate-partner violence; bullying; cyber-victimization; and crime).


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Educational Objective

The participant will summarize the conceptual and methodological challenges in linking stress exposure in childhood to health-impairing epigenetic changes.

Target Audience

This program is designed for all psychiatrists in clinical practice, residents in Graduate Medical Education programs, medical students interested in psychiatry, and other physicians who wish to advance their current knowledge of clinical medicine.

Estimated Time to Complete

Duration: 1 hour
Begin Date: June 1, 2018
End Date: May 31, 2020

How to Earn Credit

In order to earn CME credit, subscribers should read through the material presented in the article. After reading the article, complete the quiz and submit your evaluation and study hours (up to 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™).  A score of 60% or higher is required to receive credit.

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Title: Analysis of DNA Methylation in Young People: Limited Evidence for an Association Between Victimization Stress and Epigenetic Variation in Blood

Authors: Sarah J. Marzi, Ph.D., Karen Sugden, Ph.D., Louise Arseneault, Ph.D., Daniel W. Belsky, Ph.D., Joe Burrage, Ph.D., David L. Corcoran, Ph.D., Andrea Danese , M.D., Ph.D., Helen L. Fisher, Ph.D., Eilis Hannon, Ph.D., Terrie E. Moffitt, Ph.D., Candice L. Odgers, Ph.D., Carmine Pariante, M.D., Ph.D., Richie Poulton, Ph.D., Benjamin S. Williams, B.Sc., Chloe C.Y. Wong, Ph.D., Jonathan Mill, Ph.D., Avshalom Caspi, Ph.D.

Affiliations: From the Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King’s College London, and the National and Specialist Clinic for Child Traumatic Stress and Anxiety Disorders, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London (S.J.M., L.A., A.D., H.L.F., C.P., R.P., C.C.Y.W., A.C.); the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Social Science Research Institute, and the Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the Department of Population Health Sciences, and the Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C. (K.S., D.W.B., D.L.C., T.E.M., C.L.O., B.S.W., A.C.); the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand (T.E.M., R.P.); and the Complex Disease Epigenetics Group, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, U.K. (J.B., E.H., J.M.).

Disclosures: Dr. Pariante has received research funding from Johnson & Johnson and from a Wellcome-led consortium that includes Lundbeck, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer, and he has served as a consultant for Lundbeck and Eleusis Benefit Corporation. The other authors report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Discussion of unapproved or investigational use of products*: No.

*APA policy requires disclosure by CME authors of unapproved or investigational use of products discussed in CME programs. Off-label use of medications by individual physicians is permitted and common. Decisions about off-label use can be guided by scientific literature and clinical experience.

Program Planners

Robert Freedman, M.D. (Editor-in-Chief, AJP); Susan K. Schultz, M.D. (Deputy Editor, AJP); Michael D. Roy (Editorial Director, AJP); Michael A. Pogachar (Online Content Manager, Journals).

Dr. Schultz has received research support from the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study for projects conducted in partnership with Toyama Chemical Company and in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Freedman, Mr. Roy, and Mr. Pogachar report no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.
Optimal System Configuration:
  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+ 
  • Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+ 
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 pixels.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC:500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

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