In order to deal with cerebral folate deficiency, it’s important to understand the background of what causes the condition, who it may affect and the treatment that is currently offered to those who develop it.
By doing so, this knowledge can be used to make improvements to an individual’s quality of life and development despite the symptoms of the deficiency.
What is Cerebral Folate Deficiency?
Everyone needs folate in their diet. It’s an essential vitamin that is named as such as it was originally found naturally and primarily in foliage – such as leafy greens and spinach.
However, folate is available today in a variety of additional forms, including synthetic folic acid, supplementary tablets and its active form 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.
When the body does not receive enough folate to transport to the brain, cerebral folate deficiency can develop, leading to poor brain development.
What are the Symptoms of Cerebral Folate Deficiency?
Often developing during the first year of a person’s life, cerebral folate deficiency may lead to one of more of the following symptoms:
- Autosomal recessive inheritance.
- Intellectual disability.
- Physical pain.
- Regressed development.
Living with Cerebral Folate Deficiency
Living with cerebral folate deficiency isn’t always easy, however it can be dealt with through treatment and professional care and may even be significantly improved and reduced through certain measures. It’s therefore important to know how to deal with cerebral folate deficiency.
Is there a Cure for Cerebral Folate Deficiency?
While there is no direct ‘cure’ as such for cerebral folate deficiency, the condition can be handled and stabilized through various measures.
People with cerebral folate deficiency will usually need to take folinic acid (5-formyltetrahydrofolate) which contains folate found naturally in foods, rather than synthetic folic acid. They are usually also prescribed medications such as naltrexone in low doses – a pharmaceutical drug known to boost the immune system in those with autoimmune diseases. IV hydration may also be necessary.
Physical therapy is often provided in order to help build the person’s strength, improve their mobility and keep their body active to an appropriate extent.
In some cases, people with cerebral folate deficiency may need a wheel chair to get around.
In some cases, significant improvement has been made through the direct injection of folate. This is usually only effective when the condition has been caught and treated early on it its development.
Finally, whether it’s a mild or severe case of cerebral folate deficiency, it’s important to maintain proper nutrition and ensure an adequate vitamin intake. In many cases it has been seen that all that’s required is a simple multivitamin – a basic treatment that has helped to improve the condition in some patients.
These treatment paths in combination with support from family and healthcare professionals can help an individual deal with the effects of cerebral folate deficiency more effectively.
If you feel you, or someone you know could be experiencing a deficiency in folate, it is recommended you see a health professional as soon as possible and set yourself on the best path to recovery.
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/gard/10594/cerebral-folate-deficiency/resources/3