Molecule associated with autism: Folic acid. Do we use it correctly?
Mustafa Canbolat1, Mehmet Tecellioglu2, Davut Ozbag1, Turgay Karatas3, Mehmet Karatas4, Deniz Senol1
1Inonu University Faculty, of Medicine Department of Anatomy, Malatya, Turkey
2Inonu University Faculty, of Medicine Department of Neurology, Malatya, Turkey
3Inonu University Faculty, of Medicine Department of General Surgery, Malatya, Turkey
4Inonu University Faculty, of Medicine Department of History of Medicine and Ethics, Malatya, Turkey
Aim: Neural tube defects (NTD) are among most commonly found congenital anomalies. Sufficient amount of folic acid taken in preconception period is reported to prevent NTD development. There are studies in literature which make an association between high doses of folic acid taken during pregnancy and autism. When folic acid supplement began to be made on foods to protect from neural tube defects a concurrent increase has been mentioned in autism prevalence. Today pregnancy and folic acid supplement are currently indispensable. Physicians have made this supplement a routine.
Aim of study is to assess if every woman in Malatya has a deficiency which requires routine use of folic acid through the folic acid levels of women who refer to health institutions.
Material and Methods: Study conducted on the records of 1003 female patients in reproductive age group who referred to neurology and internal medicine polyclinics for any reason and whose folic acid levels were checked by the related physician.
Results: Serum folic acid level averages of all women whose records were taken is 7,69±3,03ng/ml. Only 27 (2,69%) women’s folic acid levels lower than 3,08 ng/ml. 699 (69,69%) women’s serum folic acid levels higher than 6 ng/ml.
Conclusions: If these 1003 women were pregnant, they would routinely be started folic acid. However, folic acid levels of a great majority (69,69%) was found to be higher than 6 ng/ml. We believe that physicians should start folic acid after taking into consideration the nutritional habits and socioeconomic characteristics of the region they live in and after they check serum folic acid level.
Keywords: Folic Acid; Unnecessary Drug Usage; Malatya.