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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 1997;104(8-9):931-41.

Homozygous thermolabile methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase in schizophrenia-like psychosis.

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Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Göteborg University, Sweden.


The gene for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) has shown polymorphism in the general human population. In its homozygous form, a C677T mutation occurs in more than 5% of the grown-up population and produces a thermolabile variant which reduces the overall enzyme activity to less than 30% of normal. We investigated patients with schizophrenia-like psychosis. If hyperhomocysteinemic, their DNA-genotype for thermolabile C677T mutation was determined. Seven of 11 patients, six males and one female, were homozygous for thermolabile MTHFR. One male patient was heterozygous and all three normal homozygotes were females. In the patients who were homozygous for the C677T mutation, the homocysteine concentrations did not respond to vitamin B12 but were normalized by folate supplementation. In the normal homozygotes, however, the homocysteine concentrations were reduced by vitamin B12 alone. Our results suggest that homozygosity for thermolabile MTHFR is a risk factor for schizophrenia-like psychosis. Possibly, this risk may be reduced by folate supplementation.

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