The Role of Folate and Methylation in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

This presentation will focus on the metabolic effects of folate and clinical studies related to the vitamin’s role in neurodegenerative disorders. Folates are fundamentally important in brain growth, differentiation, development, repair, mood, cognition, and aging. The neuropsychiatric complications of folate deficiency are remarkably similar to those of vitamin B12 deficiency. The one central biochemical reaction that unifies folate and vitamin B12 metabolism involves the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) a key substrate in numerous methylation reactions that affect gene activity, the post-translational modification of proteins and lipids, neurotransmitter synthesis and inactivation, as well as the modification of many other crucial metabolic intermediates.

Gain insights on how to:

  • Recognize the causes of folate deficiency (dietary, genetic, and drug-induced)
  • Understand the biochemical mechanisms of folate deficiency that can lead to depression and dementia
  • Identify the potential of folate therapy and clinical applications

Dr. Teodoro Bottiglieri obtained his masters (MSc) and doctorate (PhD) at the University of London, United Kingdom, on the role of folate in neurological and psychiatric diseases. He Joined the Institute of Metabolic Disease (IMD), Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, in Dallas in October 1991. He is currently the program director of the Center of Metabolomics at Baylor IMD. Dr. Bottiglieri’s research program focuses on identifying biomarkers that will aid in diagnosing and monitoring disease progression and outcome in both common and rare diseases. He has a specific interest in understanding the role of folate, vitamin B12, and methylation in the central nervous system. The research conducted in Dr. Bottiglieri’s laboratory has applications to many disease states, including the diagnosis of rare in-born errors of metabolism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and vascular disease. Dr. Bottiglieri’s research over the last 25 years has involved preclinical (experimental models) and clinical studies on the metabolism and use of folate and related methyl-group donors in neurodegenerative and vascular disease He has more than 178 publications in peer-reviewed journals and co-authored several textbooks, including Stop Depression Now and Homocysteine: Related Vitamins and Neuropsychiatric Disorders. Dr. Bottiglieri lectures frequently at national and international meetings and is active in a number of professional organizations.

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