This study aimed to determine red blood cell (RBC) and serum folate and vitamin B12 levels as well as their intake in schizophrenic patients.
The folate and cobalamin status of 60 schizophrenic patients (15-55 years) was compared to 60 matched healthy controls using Radio Isotope Dilution Assay (RIDA).
Serum and RBC folate in schizophrenic patients was significantly lower than the control group. Mean serum cobalamin levels in the schizophrenic group were higher than controls.
This study showed that folate deficiency is common in schizophrenic patients; therefore, it is important to pay attention to folate levels in these patients.
The metabolism of cobalamin and folic acid is interrelated and both are necessary in several pathways in the human central nervous system. Cobalamin and folate facilitate the production of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the exceptional donor of a methylgroup for various reactions of methylation, by promoting the conversion of homocysteine into methionine.1
Cobalamin and folic acid deficiency may contribute to the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders such as mental confusion, memory changes, cognitive slowing, mood disorder, violent behavior, fatigue, delirium and paranoid psychosis.2