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Genetics, Folate Deficiency And L-Methylfolate


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#1 Amysgarden

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:56 PM

Chatted with a former psychiatrist today at work. He mentioned something about a genetic variation that causes people to have problems adequately absorbing folic acid to produce l-methylfolate, which is apparently something that has to do with the production of serotonin, dopamine, etc.

Has anyone been tested for this? He said that people with severe chronic depression tend to test positive, at least within his clinical observations. I've been trying to do some research on this. He said that those with this deficiency need to take l-methylfolate because they can't process folate normally. I'm intrigued.

#2 ShadyLady

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:59 PM

'I'm intrigued,' too, Amy;). Out us know anymore research you find on this! What is the name of the test and who administers it? Interesting piece to add to the jigsaw puzzle of chronic depression;)

Be well. XXX

#3 ShadyLady

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:01 PM

Out us? Huh?! Let us know. Stupid IPad:(

#4 fishinghat

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 07:37 PM

Last time I looked there was 8 genes related to depression and 6 for anxiety. That was a couple years ago. I am sure there are more by now, Suffering from anxiety myself I looked in the anxiety genes. Most of the genes made a person more vulnerable to anxiety and only two were directly linked to causing anxiety directly if present. There are few drs and labs that do genetic testing for these genes but they are still fairly expensive and the end result is that you are/are not prone to have depression (or anxiety as the case may be). The hope is that someday these tests will show what genes we have and that may be able to indicate the best treatment option. Unluckily we are not there yet.

 

If you want to learn more about the folic acid/l-methylfolate gene let me know and I will dig up some info for you.


#5 Amysgarden

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 09:59 PM

From greatlakesttc.com...(couldn't paste the link for whatever reason). This is a reasonable summary of what he was talking about. He had tested a lot of his patients for the MTHFR polymorphism. And nearly all had it.




When searching for the right therapy to help a patient reach remission treating depression, it can (at times) become very frustrating from patients. Approximately 2/3 of individuals do not achieve remission for depression with serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) monotherapy. Basically, this means that a psychiatrist who has 20 clients and is treating them for depression could have 14 who have no (or very little) improvement with their symptoms. Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) is a term that is used to describe these type of patients. It is used to describe people with Major Depressive Disorder that do not reach remission after multiple antidepressant trials.

Individuals who suffer from uncontrolled depression are more likely to have high medical bills, employment problems, and suicidal thoughts. One reason psychiatrist may think patients suffer from TRD is because patients may have an L-methylfolate deficiency. This deficiency may be the reason why treatment with traditional antidepressant medication is not effective in managing symptoms of depression.

In order to understand what it is, you first need to understand Folate. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, orange juice, nuts, and even some fruits. It is normally part of a healthy diet. Folate is something that the body requires for cell growth and reproduction. Folate is a necessity for overall health.

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and must be digested and process before the body can even use it. There are even several steps the body has to go through to break it down. These need to be done for a person to reap the full benefit of folic acid. As a result of these detailed steps to break it down, the body then makes a more specific version of the folate called L-Methylfolate.
L-methylfolate is very important because unlike folic acid, it crosses the blood brain barrier. It has been shown that many people have a genetic error called the MTHFR polymorphism. This limits their body’s ability to break down the folic acid into L-methylfolate. It is the ‘limit’in this polymorphism that causes patients to not metabolize antidepressants, which creates the TRD.
Additional risk factors that may cause L-methylfolate deficiency:
Certain medications

Diseases

Lifestyle habits

Age

Not enough folate in your diet

This deficiency can lead to decreased red blood cells (anemia) or even cause high levels of some amino acids in blood (hyperhomocysteinemia).
Presently, the US-FDA has approved only one form of folate—l-methylfolate (Deplin). Deplin has not been approved as a primary treatment, but rather as an adjunctive treatment. It should be taken in addition to a client's regular psychiatric medications. The specifics of this treatment option need to be discussed with a patient’s family and physicians.

#6 ZappAlta

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:44 AM

A perscribed medication called DEPLIN (aka L METHYLFOLATE)   It may be worth a try for many .





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