Epigenetic clocks in relapse after a first episode of schizophrenia

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6 Scopus citations


The main objective of the present study was to investigate the association between several epigenetic clocks, covering different aspects of aging, with schizophrenia relapse evaluated over a 3-year follow-up period in a cohort of ninety-one first-episode schizophrenia patients. Genome-wide DNA methylation was profiled and four epigenetic clocks, including epigenetic clocks of chronological age, mortality and telomere length were calculated. Patients that relapsed during the follow-up showed epigenetic acceleration of the telomere length clock (p = 0.030). Shorter telomere length was associated with cognitive performance (working memory, r = 0.31 p = 0.015; verbal fluency, r = 0.28 p = 0.028), but no direct effect of cognitive function or symptom severity on relapse was detected. The results of the present study suggest that epigenetic age acceleration could be involved in the clinical course of schizophrenia and could be a useful marker of relapse when measured in remission stages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number61
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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