Homozygous mutation of the thermolabile variant of methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) may result in hyperhomocystinemia, leading to an increased risk for early cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and possibly major depression, schizophrenia. According to recent studies heterozygosity for the thermolabile variant of the MTHFR gene mutation is also more frequent in patients with thrombotic disease compared to that in the average population. We report on a family with different types of early vascular disease. In four consecutive generations MTHFR heterozygosity was detected: in the proband and in her mother, grandfather and daughter. Further conditions of the family members, possibly due to carrying the mutation, came to light by the pedigree analysis and examinations. The patient had pulmonary emboli at young age, her aunt died of spina bifida shortly after birth. The patient's mother suffers from schizophrenia and depression. The grandfather had pulmonary emboli, her sister with spina bifida occulta also carries the same mutation, as does her daughter who is sofar asymptomatic. In other asymptomatic members of the family no mutations were found. Unexpectedly, hyperhomocystinemia was detected in all heterozygote individuals. Our study demonstrates the necessity for folic acid therapy in mutation carriers to prevent early vascular events, depression and schizophrenia, and also to reduce the risk for neural tube defects in a preconception setting.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 8 2001|
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