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Journal retracts article that said childhood trauma could lead to genetic changes

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g5543 (Published 08 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5543
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

The British Journal of Psychiatry has retracted a June 2013 article purporting to find a higher incidence of epigenetic changes in people with bipolar disorder who experienced traumatic abuse in early life, as Swiss authorities pursue an arrest warrant against the leader of the research team that produced the paper.

Alain Malafosse, formerly director of the genetic psychiatry unit at the University Hospitals of Geneva, is accused of embezzling Swiss government research funds and of fabricating data. An international arrest warrant issued in February by Geneva canton’s public prosecutor cited criminal complaints from the University of Geneva and its hospital network accusing Malafosse of sending 1.7 million Swiss francs (£1.1m; €1.4m, $1.8m) to an outside laboratory in Montpellier that was actually the address of a relative of his, also a doctor.

The …

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