Folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine in major depressive disorder

Maurizio Fava, Joseph S. Borus, Jonathan E. Alpert, Andrew A. Nierenberg, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, Teodoro Bottiglieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

259 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The authors examined the relationships between levels of three metabolites (folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine) and both depressive subtype and response to fluoxetine treatment in depressed patients. Method: Fluoxetine. 20 mg/day for 8 weeks, was given to 213 outpatients with major depressive disorder. At baseline, depressive subtypes were assessed, and a blood sample was collected from each patient. Serum metabolite levels were assayed. Response to treatment was determined by percentage change in score on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Results: Subjects with low folate levels were more likely to have melancholic depression and were significantly less likely to respond to fluoxetine. Homocysteine and B12 levels were not associated with depressive subtype or treatment response. Conclusions: Overall, the results are consistent with findings linking low folate levels to poorer response to antidepressant treatment. Folate levels might be considered in the evaluation of depressed patients who do not respond to antidepressant treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-428
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume154
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Fava, M., Borus, J. S., Alpert, J. E., Nierenberg, A. A., Rosenbaum, J. F., & Bottiglieri, T. (1997). Folate, vitamin B12, and homocysteine in major depressive disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154(3), 426-428. https://doi.org/10.1176/ajp.154.3.426