The challenge of mental health is something in which we are intimately involved.
How many of our patients struggle with SSRI and SNRI medications, only to struggle further with their symptoms and feelings.
It is well known that many drugs modify normal and abnormal behaviours by changing the amounts of particular neurotransmitters present within the brain synapses, or by influencing the interactions between transmitter molecules and their post-synaptic receptors.
Depression is not just a brain disease.
It should be considered as a systemic disease with deleterious effects on multiple organ systems.
It is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and risk of death after a heart attack.
Depressive illness has the same risk as stroke and/or congestive heart failure on mortality statistics.
Now, new research shows the positive impact of an intervention with L-methylfolate – an active form of folate that addresses part of a complex deficiency found in people with depression.
Unlike synthetic folic acid, L-methylfolate crosses the blood-brain barrier to contribute to the synthesis of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
We can recommend this substance for people with depression who are taking antidepressant medication, as well as for those people who are not taking antidepressants.
This is a genuine opportunity to help our patients.
The research is sound and GP friends of mine are even excited to be involved – now, that’s a first.
Let’s make a difference to patients who don’t feel any different whilst taking their medications for depression, who don’t understand why this is happening, and who want to move to feeling “normal’ again.