Perinatal Choline Supplement May Lower Schizophrenia Risk

A new study reveals that babies who received the essential nutrient choline perinatally (before or just after birth) were far less likely to exhibit a physiologic risk factor for schizophrenia at the age of 33 days compared with those who received a placebo.

“We thought that if we could get a good intervention prenatally or early postnatally, we could decrease risk for the disorder,” said lead author Randy Ross, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

“This is really a first step towards trying to develop a prevention strategy,” said Ross. He added that finding ways to prevent a disease “may be much more effective than treating it after it comes on.”

The randomized controlled trial involved 93 healthy pregnant women, half of whom took choline supplements during their last two trimesters of pregnancy. Their babies also received choline soon after delivery.

The findings revealed that the offspring who received choline perinatally had a significantly lower rate of a physiologic risk factor for schizophrenia at the age of 33 days compared to the babies who had received matching placebo.

by Traci Pedersen, PsychCentral

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