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Folate deficiency, biopterin and monoamine metabolism in depression

  • T. Bottiglieri (a1), K. Hyland (a1), M. Laundy (a1), P. Godfrey (a1), M. W. P. Carney (a1), B. K. Toone (a1) and E. H. Reynolds (a1)...

Seven (21%) of 34 patients with a severe DSM-III diagnosis of major depression had red-cell folate levels below 150 ng/ml. This subgroup with folate deficiency had significantly lower CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) compared to neurological controls. For all depressed patients red-cell folate was significantly correlated with CSF 5HIAA and homovanillic acid (HVA). CSF tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) was significantly correlated with CSF 5HIAA and HVA and red-cell folate. Our observations provide further evidence of the links between folate, biopterin and monoamine metabolism in depression.

Corresponding author
1 Address for correspondence: Dr E. H. Reynolds, Department of Neurology, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS.
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Psychological Medicine
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