Serum Homocysteine and Folate Levels in Korean Schizophrenic Patients

Department of Psychiatry, Research Institute of Medical Science, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Chungju, Korea.
Psychiatry investigation (Impact Factor: 1.15). 06/2011; 8(2):134-40. DOI: 10.4306/pi.2011.8.2.134
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was conducted to confirm the results of the authors' previous research on schizophrenia manifesting high serum homocysteine and low folate levels. This study is anchored on a theory that a high serum homocysteine concentration affects schizophrenia by virtue of a neurotoxic mechanism, and on a report that some schizophrenia patients with high homocysteine levels benefited from high folate ingestion.
The serum homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B(12) levels of 236 normal-control-group subjects and 234 schizophrenia subjects who met the diagnostic criteria based on DSM-IV-TR were compared. The homocysteine levels were measured via fluorescence polarization immunoassay, and the folate and vitamin B(12) levels were determined via radioimmunoassay.
The homocysteine levels of the patient group were significantly higher than those of the normal control group. The homocysteine level was more negatively correlated with the folate level in the schizophrenia group than in the control group. The percentages of female and male schizophrenia subjects manifesting high homocysteine levels were 33.8 and 51.5%, respectively. The percentage of schizophrenia subjects with low folate levels was 66.2%. In the low- and normal-folate-level groups, the patient group showed significantly higher homocysteine levels than the normal control group. The low-folate-level patient group particularly showed significantly higher homocysteine levels than the low-folate-level normal control group.
Some schizophrenia patients with high serum homocysteine levels may have the genetic defect of having low folate serum levels. In such cases, folate ingestion may be a good management modality for clinical improvement.

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