Cerebral Folate Deficiency – What is it and who’s at Risk?


Cerebral Folate Deficiency continues to be a trending topic in the medical community not only due to its already documented neurological issues but also because of the information it is beginning to yield about other conditions such as Autism. Patients can start to show symptoms of Cerebral Folate Deficiency as early as four to six months, and these include hypotonia, ataxia, deceleration of head growth, and overall delayed cerebral development. We will examine in this article this degenerative condition and who is at risk of developing it.

What is Folate?

Folate can be found in many of the foods we eat daily as it is a B-vitamin that is naturally present. Folate helps the body develop DNA and other genetic material making it an essential component that if present in low quantities in the body and particularly the brain can lead to mild and severe issues. Once ingested folate breaks down in the bloodstream and then quickly travels to the brain and binds with receptors at the blood/brain barrier before reaching the spinal fluid and overall central nervous system.

Cerebral Folate Deficiency and Autism

Because Cerebral Folate Deficiency is caused by decreased cerebral concentrations of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate in the presence of standard blood folate concentrations supplementation can help. Neurologists are beginning to find a connection between low-level functioning autism and low levels of folate in the spinal fluid. The diagnosis is difficult to give as the procedures to do so are invasive which makes the number of cases vary per year.

Symptoms of Cerebral Folate Deficiency

Besides the possibility for low-level functioning autism there are also a vast number of symptoms that can become present due to a folate deficiency in the brain. Seizures, partial visual or hearing loss, and spasticity are not uncommon and can be attributed to other conditions before being linked to folate deficiency. Because spinal fluid samples are invasive and pose risks, it can be challenging to make the necessary link.

Who Is at Risk?

Cerebral Folate Deficiency develops early in life but can develop in adults later in life. Because individuals metabolize differently, it can be hard to predict who may be at risk of developing difficulty processing this essential vitamin. Oral folate supplements have shown to improve mood and responsiveness in individuals exhibiting decreased attention span or repeating behaviors that are indicating neurological issues. The subgroup of individuals suffering from neurological conditions related to folate deficiency is difficult to say, according to neurologists.

Supplementing and Researching

As research continues on the effects of folate deficiency on the brain, its importance does not diminish. Companies like Methyl Life offer the type of methyl folate supplements that can make a difference and continue to fight against this diagnosis. Cerebral Folate Deficiency will continue to be looked upon, and as advancements in technology yield new approaches and new facts emerge, there is hope for a better future ahead for those who are suffering from this debilitating condition.