Folate, B12, and life course of depressive illness

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 10.25). 05/1989; 25(7):867-72. DOI: 10.1016/0006-3223(89)90266-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Forty-four consecutive, unmedicated outpatients with a major depressive disorder were evaluated to determine the relationships in life course, severity of depressive illness, and serum folate and B12 levels. Duration of current episode was significantly inversely correlated with folate levels. Age at onset of illness was significantly correlated with B12. In a subgroup of recurrent depressives, current age and age at onset of depressive illness were positively correlated with folate. The findings are discussed in light of the current hypotheses regarding the association of folate and mood.

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    • "There was no association between serum and red cell folate concentrations and endogenicity of depression or the presence of weight loss (Abou-Saleh and Coppen 1989). Another study in the same year found that the duration of the current depressive episode was significantly inversely correlated with folate levels, age at onset of illness was significantly correlated with B12 and in a subgroup of recurrent depressives, current age and age at onset of depressive illness were positively correlated with folate (Levitt and Joffe 1989). Depressed geriatric patients have lower levels of folate than controls and folate supplement can reduce depressive morbidity (Alpert et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Biological markers for depression are of great interest to aid in elucidating the causes of major depression. We assess currently available biological markers to query their validity for aiding in the diagnosis of major depression. We specifically focus on neurotrophic factors, serotonergic markers, biochemical markers, immunological markers, neuroimaging, neurophysiological findings, and neuropsychological markers. We delineate the most robust biological markers of major depression. These include decreased platelet imipramine binding, decreased 5-HT1A receptor expression, increase of soluble interleukin-2 receptor and interleukin-6 in serum, decreased brain-derived neurotrophic factor in serum, hypocholesterolemia, low blood folate levels, and impaired suppression of the dexamethasone suppression test. To date, however, none of these markers are sufficiently specific to contribute to the diagnosis of major depression. Thus, with regard to new diagnostic manuals such as DSM-V and ICD-11 which are currently assessing whether biological markers may be included in diagnostic criteria, no biological markers for major depression are currently available for inclusion in the diagnostic criteria.
    The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 02/2007; 8(3):141-74. DOI:10.1080/15622970701263303 · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Prospective study of inpatients admitted 24% of pts had SFA <2.5 ng/ml with severe depression Pts with low SFA levels had significantly higher BDI scores Levitt and Joffe, 1989 n ¼ 44 Prospective, non-randomized study of Pearson correlation coefficient À0.33 unmedicated outpatients with a major for folic acid level and duration of depressive disorder current illness Wolfersdorf and König, 1995 n ¼ 27 Case–control ratio of 1:2 (case: control) No significant difference between groups in relation to RCFA or SFA levels Fava et al., 1997 n ¼ 213 Consecutive outpatients with major SFA 1.5–2.5 ng/ml in 17% depression SFA <1.5% in 2% BDI, Beck depression inventory. "
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    ABSTRACT: The associations of folic acid and its derivatives with depressive disorder are reviewed. Derivatives of folic acid such as biopterins and the synthesis of S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) are known either to be associated with improvement or to have a direct therapeutic effect in depressive disorder. Studies investigating plasma and red cell folic acid levels in depressed patients have used differing assay methodologies which make comparison difficult, although there is substantial evidence of the association between depressive disorder (particularly severe depression) and low folic acid levels. The few studies available suggest folic acid has either antidepressant properties or can act as an augmenting agent for standard antidepressant treatment. A recently discovered genetic variant (5,10 MTHFR) leading to altered folic acid metabolism may explain why some individuals are vulnerable to the effects of folic acid deficiency, despite adequate intake. The links of 5,10 MTHFR to the presence of depressive disorder in the community are being investigated.
    Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental 10/2004; 19(7):477-88. DOI:10.1002/hup.614 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: • Depression is a significant problem for older adults. • Dietary factors related to either vascular risk or brain health may be important for depression. • Obesity may promote depression. • Inadequate omega-3 fatty acid consumption or levels may be related to depression. • Folate is important for vascular and brain health but its role in depression is unclear. • Brain lesions and their potential dietary etiology may be significant for depression.
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