a1 Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, King's College Hospital, London; Department of Psychiatry and Haematology, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex; Institute of Child Health, London
Seven (21%) of 34 patients with a severe DSM-III diagnosis of major depression had red-cell folate levels below 150 ng/ml. This subgroup with folate deficiency had significantly lower CSF 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) compared to neurological controls. For all depressed patients red-cell folate was significantly correlated with CSF 5HIAA and homovanillic acid (HVA). CSF tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) was significantly correlated with CSF 5HIAA and HVA and red-cell folate. Our observations provide further evidence of the links between folate, biopterin and monoamine metabolism in depression.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr E. H. Reynolds, Department of Neurology, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS.