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Folic Acid, Vitamin B, Ease Schizophrenia Symptoms Among Patients With Certain Genes

March 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have found that folate (folic acid) with vitamin B supplementation improves the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, especially in patients with certain genes. The study, involving 100 patients, focused on apathy, social withdrawal, and a lack of emotional expressiveness – all negative symptoms of schizophrenia. All participants were taking antipsychotic medications that ease positive symptoms (i.e., hallucinations and delusions) but not negative symptoms. They were randomly assigned to receive daily doses of either folate with vitamin B12 or a placebo for 16 weeks. All who received the supplements showed some improvement in negative symptoms. Researchers then looked at certain genes affected by the two nutrients, finding significant improvement in negative symptoms.
Joshua L. Roffman et al., "Randomized Multicenter Investigation of Folate Plus Vitamin B12 Supplementation in Schizophrenia", JAMA Psychiatry, March 06, 2013, © American Medical Association
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