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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-94

Folate, vitamin B12, and negative symptoms in schizophrenia

1 Psychiatric Department, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Psychiatric Department, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Hoda A Hussein
Faculty of Medicine, Psychiatry Department, Cairo University, Cairo, 11728
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_39_17

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Introduction Negative symptomatology has been demonstrated to be the most relevant predictor of increased future socio-occupational dysfunction and poorer quality of life. Negative symptoms and functional outcomes have consistently been linked, with several studies reporting worse functional outcomes in individuals with more prominent negative symptoms. Folate deficiency has been identified as a risk factor for schizophrenia and its negative symptoms. Aim The aim of this study was to assess the serum levels of folate and vitamin B12 in a sample of schizophrenic patients and their relation to negative symptoms in these patients. Patients and methods It is a cross-sectional study aiming to assess the serum level of folate and vitamin B12 in schizophrenic patients. All patients were recruited from the Kuwait Center for Mental Health after taking approval from the scientific and ethics committee of the hospital. The study was conducted in the period from January 2016 to April 2016; the total number of patients was 41 after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. We applied the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms; serum levels of vitamin B12 and folate were measured by radioimmunoassay technique. Results About 41.5% of the patients have low folate level and about 39% of the patients have low B12 level. There are significant positive correlations between severity of negative symptoms and duration of illness and number of hospital admissions. Also there are significant positive correlations between serum levels of vitamin B12 and folate. There are significant negative correlations between serum levels of vitamin B12. All negative symptoms were assessed by the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (affective flattening, alogia, attention, aviolation, and anhedonia). We cannot find a significant correlation between serum levels of folic acid and negative symptoms. Conclusion Folate and vitamin B12 deficiency may be a risk factor for schizophrenia and negative symptoms; so we suggest to evaluate the serum vitamin B12 and folate levels for schizophrenic patients followed by dietary supplementation for patients with low vitamin B12 or folate.

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