Serum cobalamin and red cell folate levels of anti-psychotic treatment and treatment naïve psychiatic patients in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria
Background: Psychiatric disorders contribute significantly to the global burden of diseases. There is an urgent need to curtail the morbidity and mortality associated with psychiatric disorders. Deficiencies of cobalamin and folate have been linked with psychiatric disorders.
Materials and method: Sixty-six each of antipsychotic treatment, treatment naïve psychiatric patients and control were recruited for the study. Red cell folate and serum cobalamin were determined with Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay kits and the haemogram using Sysmex XT2000i.
Result: Folate deficiency was present in 13.6% of newly diagnosed anti-psychotic naive psychiatric patients with few of them having neutrophil hypersegmentation (7.6%) and macrocytosis (4.5%). Mean red cell folate levels for anti-psychotic naïve, patients on anti-psychotic and controls were 350.23 ± 0.54 nmol/l, 370 ± 0.70 nmol/l and 370 ± 0.51 nmol/l respectively, with p-values of 0.0001 and 0.3500 respectively when compared with control, while serum cobalamin levels were within the normal reference range in all patients and controls.
Reticulocyte count had 8 times and 3 times likelihood of influencing low serum folate and low serum cobalamin respectively.
Conclusion: All patients had Serum cobalamin levels within the reference interval, the same can be said of the RBC folate levels of the greater percentage (95.5%) of psychiatric patients on psychotropic drugs.
Keywords: Red cell folate, Serum cobalamin, Anti-psychotic treatment, Treatment naïve psychiatric patients