The Role of Folate in Depression and Dementia
J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(suppl 10):28-33
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Adequate levels of folate are crucial for proper brain and body functioning. Folate deficiencies
may lead to an increased risk of depression and poorer antidepressant treatment outcomes, as well as
an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
mandated fortification of grain products with folic acid, which has brought about vast reductions
in folate deficiency. However, folate deficiencies may be caused by improper absorption and utilization,
often due to genetic polymorphisms. Individuals, therefore, can have insufficient levels or lack
needed forms of folate, despite adequate intake. Supplementation with the active form of folate,
methyltetrahydrofolate, which is more readily absorbed, may be effective in the prevention and treatment
of both depression and dementia.