Genetic variation in folate metabolism is not associated with cognitive functioning or mood in healthy adults.

O. J. Schiepers, M. P. J. van Boxtel, R. H. M. de Groot, J. Jolles, O. Bekers, F. J. Kok, P. Verhoef, J. Durga

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study examined the associations between genetic variation in folate metabolism on the one hand and cognitive functioning and mood on the other in healthy individuals. Two independent population-based samples were used, including 777 participants, aged 24-82. years, from the Maastricht Aging Study (MAAS); and 818 participants, aged 50-70. years, from the Folic Acid and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (FACIT) study. Thymidylate synthase (TS) 2R→3R and serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT1) 1420C→T polymorphisms were determined in both populations. In addition, the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C→T polymorphism was determined in the MAAS population. Cognitive performance was assessed in both populations using a neuropsychological test battery. In the MAAS population only, cognitive performance was retested after 12. years of follow-up (n = 612), and mood was measured at baseline (n = 772) and 12-year follow-up (n = 565) by means of the depression subscale of the Symptom Checklist 90. We found that in both study populations, cognitive performance was not associated with TS 2R→3R or SHMT1 1420C→T polymorphisms at baseline, after correction for age, sex, and level of education. The MTHFR 677C→T polymorphism was not associated with cognitive performance in the MAAS population. None of the polymorphisms in the MAAS population were related to mood at baseline or over 12. years. In conclusion, our findings do not support the involvement of genetic variation in folate metabolism in cognitive performance or mood in healthy individuals. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1682-1688
Number of pages7
JournalProgress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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