DNA Damage in Major Psychiatric Diseases

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Human cells are exposed to exogenous insults and continuous production of different metabolites. These insults and unwanted metabolic products might interfere with the stability of genomic DNA. Recently, many studies have demonstrated that different psychiatric disorders show substantially high levels of oxidative DNA damage in the brain accompanied with morphological and functional alterations. It reveals that damaged genomic DNA may contribute to the pathophysiology of these mental illnesses. In this article, we review the roles of oxidative damage and reduced antioxidant ability in some vastly studied psychiatric disorders and emphasize the inclusion of treatment options involving DNA repair. In addition, while most currently used antidepressants are based on the manipulation of the neurotransmitter regulation in managing different mental abnormalities, they are able to prevent or reverse neurotoxin-induced DNA damage. Therefore, it may be plausible to target on genomic DNA alterations for psychiatric therapies, which is of pivotal importance for future antipsychiatric drug development.