September 01, 2005

Low Folic Acid during Pregnancy Ups Schiz. Risk?

A new research paper out of Harvard University investigated the roll the folic acid deficiencies during pregnancy might play in a child's risk of developing schizophrenia later.

The study suggests that evidence from many different lines of research supports the hypothesis that schizophrenia is a disorder of brain development with causal factors implicated as early as the second trimester of pregnancy.

The researchers suggest that low maternal folate (Folic Acid), acting to increase homocysteine levels, may provide a functional link between many of the identified prenatal schizophrenia risk factors and the hypothesized mechanisms whereby neurodevelopmental errors or malformation develop to increase risk of later schizophrenia.

The findings from this review support the idea that low folate and high homocysteine levels during pregnancy may provide a potential genetic mutation causing mechanism that increases the risk for developing schizophrenia for the child.

The study concludes that given the potential for preventive treatment offered by this hypothesis, they believe further investigation into this mechanism is warranted.

The message here seems to be that if you're going to get pregnant, you should be very careful to take good prenatal vitamins, eat healthy foods, and of course avoid all alcohol, cigarettes and other standard medical advice for expecting mothers.

Do maternal folate and homocysteine levels play a role in neurodevelopmental processes that increase risk for schizophrenia?
Picker JD, Coyle JT
Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2005 Jul-Aug ; 13(4): 197-205


Ms son is 22 years-old and has been in the Rochester Psychiatric Center in Rochester, NY since 18 dx' with Schozophrenia. He has been tried on all meds. and none have given him appropriate relief. Abilify was not given a long enough tme and he is currently taking 300 mg. Clozaril, and 2 mg Risperdol, and new to the regime is Omega 5 6000 mgs. With the addition of Omega 5 there has been a small increase in the negative sx's but the postivie sx's are horrible. He know speaks int he first person for much of his self talk, and is strongly reports that he did not say anything. It's very difficult to take him out in the public, although I do whenever he wants to go to a resturant or walk in the mall. He is truly tormented by this symptoms. Does anyone have any suggestions. It appears that the current meds to not respond to the positive sx's. THis weekend,he took his meeds at 9pm and lay awake talking to himself in the second person for 2 1/2 hours. Making statements, I gotta get a doctor, other statements in a tearful, frustrated tone of voice. I'm wondering if in place of one of the current meds. they try a "tinch" of Haldol? What do you think? Any idea would be appreciated........Thanks, Sue

Posted by: Susan Snyder at October 10, 2005 09:18 PM

hi this is omarand i have a question that i would like to ask.
identify mutation-causing factors in the evironment.

Posted by: omar mallah at November 16, 2005 04:08 PM

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